What Have I Done for Allah?

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Guest writer M.K. shares with us her personal life-changing story that led her to hijab.

My decision to wear hijab was a quick one. A sudden one. One that could only have been decided for me.

The most I had ever thought about hijab was that I’d wear it when I was old. Maybe. After going for Hajj. After I was done having “fun” with my life… because, you know, we all know how long we have to live, right?

Two weeks prior to my decision, I was at a Christmas party from work; mixing, drinking alcohol, dancing, and of course wearing very revealing clothing.

You’d think I would have learned my lesson, a year before that, as I lay in the hospital, dying of liver failure. Something I’d done to myself after overdosing on a bottle of Tylenol 3’s and other painkillers. A way out from all the pain, when I didn’t have the skills to cope with it any longer.

Except it didn’t kill the pain. It only intensified, as I lay their motionless, not able to move my body or speak.  Two nurses, switching shifts, exchanged knowing glances, and one said to the other, “How is she?”

“She won’t make it through the night,” was the reply.

SubhanAllah, it was like a switch went off inside me. I couldn’t speak, but in my head I was shouting, “Yes I will!”  In that moment, I went from wanting to end it all, to wanting to prove that I would make it.

When I got through it, I knew I had to make a change, but I was so far removed from religion, that my only thought was to serve others, to be a better person in this world. And so, I started working at a center for teens, so that I could help other teens going through depression.  And I started a charity drive for victims of war. And in between, I had my “fun.”  Wanting to live my life to the fullest, now that I’d been so close to death.

Of course, something was still missing. I was happier. I was feeling more fulfilled, but still many nights I’d cry myself to sleep, wondering what it was all for.

One day, I was feeling so lost and confused and I didn’t know what else to do, or who to talk to, so I snuck downstairs and grabbed a copy of the Qur’an we had, and went back up to my room. And I said, “God, please give me a message.”

I closed my eyes, opened up the Qur’an to a random page, and pointed my finger on some verses. And what came up was the following:

“Did He not find thee an orphan and protect thee?
And found you wandering and direct thee?
And found you destitute and enriched thee?”
[Surah al Duhaa 93: 6-8]

I bawled and bawled my eyes out. I felt Allah had written those messages for me, personally.

It wasn’t until a year later, at a funeral of a relative of ours, that it fully hit me.  As I stood in the room where she lay, cold and pale, women around me wailing, I stared at the body and thought that this is what it will come down to. This is where it ends, and look at all that Allah has done for me.  He (subhanahu wa ta’ala) brought me back to life, when the world was about to pronounce me dead.

And the question echoed in my head, loud and clear: “What have I done for Allah?’

And now those verses made sense.

I stared off in a daze, and quietly resolved to keep my headscarf on.  It felt like a protection, like a barrier between myself and the world. I had obstacles, though.

My family was not happy with my decision. At the funeral, I told them I would be keeping the hijab on, and they laughed at me.  When I came home, and even went to bed wearing it, they realized I was serious. My decision was not only about hijab, but also prayer. I didn’t know how to pray, and so, for a while, I’d do whatever I thought was close enough, and would mumble prayers and ask Allah to help me figure it all out. And slowly, bit by bit, I did.

That very first day wearing hijab, I had my wallet stolen by two drug dealers, when I headed in to work. Talk about a test! But once again, Allah helped me through; within hours, they came back and returned it, untouched and they apologized, subhanAllah…

My family was my biggest struggle though. I would hide in my room in order to pray, and there were lots of arguments and fights about hijab, and later jilbab.  But, I stayed firm. I knew that whatever test Allah gave me, was not bigger than the blessings He had given me, and continued to give me.

And eventually they came around. A year later, my sisters started wearing hijab, and then two years after that my mom did. And now almost ten years later, my parents are both praying, and sometimes even ask me questions about Islam.

Just shows you the power of du’a, and patience.  Who knew that two weeks prior, I was committing all kinds of sins, oblivious to the consequences, that I would do a complete flip? It is a reminder to everyone, including myself, to never judge others based on their outside appearance.

That step toward hijab, may come at a moment’s notice. While you are unaware.

Mine did.

“He knows what is in the heavens and on earth; and He knows what you conceal and what you reveal: and Allah knows well the secrets of all hearts.”[Surat at-Taghabun, 64:4]

“Whether you hide your word or publish it. He certainly has full knowledge of the secrets of all hearts. He is the One that understands the finest mysteries and is well-acquainted with them.” [Surat al-Mulk, 67:13-14]

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Follow M.K. at her Facebook page: facebook.com/mombodysoul

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