I want to begin this post with the mention of a dear friend and deeni sister... Her initials are A.F, hence AliF is what I want to call her in my blog... It would be quite appropriate as she is my first true deeni sister and marks the beginning of a deeni friendship just as the alphabet "alif" marks the beginning of Arabic alphabets...
AliF is really pretty mashAllah and looks especially gorgeous donning her black jilbaab and veil with only large dark eyes visible to the world... She has incredible courage mashAllah and a generous heart! But what I really admire about AliF is her ability to memorize just about any ayaah or hadith almost as soon as she is done reading it! MashAllah! She can fluently recite just about any reference from the quraan and the hadith in support of her argument! Above all AliF is not one bit arrogant about this wonderful trait that she possesses!
Once, when she had invited me and a friend over for breakfast, she was again trying to drill some deen into us and supporting her views with quraanic ayaahs, duaas and ahadith... It was then that she mentioned how tauba- istighfaar(repentance) were her favorite subjects in deen... For AliF it was a casual statement like how we all tend to discuss our likes and dislikes with friends over a cup of tea... But for me it was the beginning of a search!
I was already a hijabi at that time, but I dont know how much of a hijab I carried around my heart! I certainly did don the garment in an effort to please Allah swt but I had never really THOUGHT about DEEN till then!
That particular morning remained in my head till very recently... AliF must have said so many other things of graver importance that day, but all I seemed to remember was this one bit about having a favorite subject in deen... I too believe in tauba-istighfaar, but did I really love that particular subject???!!!
Time and tide carried me closer to deen by Allah's will and I began finding avenues that led me into researching deen as well as into making efforts to serve deen... Quite unintentionally I made my way towards all those paths that had one destination, deen!
It was only by the will of Allah swt and by His ultimate grace that one day I realized what Islam really was about... " la illa ha illallahu Muhammadur Rasool Allah" .... the essence of deen... SUBMISSION!!!
The essence of islam is in its simplicity; its purity and its honesty... There are no secrets in deen... The truth is out there... Out there for us to live it, see it, believe it and spread it...
That is the beauty of deen... Submission to the will of Allah swt, to the word of Allah swt, to the Prophets of Allah swt! It is about having faith in the Unseen; and in the powers of the Unseen.
Submission became ny favorite part of deen... The topic I most like to think about, read about and talk about!!!! SubhanAllah!!!
The following ayaahs from the quraan seemed to wake me from a deep slumber and guided me to the hair-raising conclusion of my quest:
"The foolish of the people will say: What has turned them from the 'qiblah' which they formerly observed? Say unto Allah belongeth the east and the west. He guideth whom He will onto a Straight Path"...
..." And We appointed the 'qiblah' which you formerly observed only that We might know him who followeth the messenger, from him who turneth on his heels. In truth it was a hard test save for those whom Allah swt guided"....
..." We shall make thee turn towards a 'qiblah' which is dear to Thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and you O Muslims, ... turn your faces towards it(when you pray)"....
Surah Baqarah- Ayaah Nos. 142, 143, 144- Part II
SubhanAllah! Almighty Allah expected His followers to obey the instructions of the Holy Prophet (S) without harboring any doubts in their hearts and having the faith that the Prophet(S) was truly a messenger of Allah swt who would only speak what his Almighty Lord ordained him to...
Further on, Allah swt showed us an excellent example of SUBMISSION in the ways of Prophet Muhammad(S). He (S) never questioned Allah swt and willingly obeyed the Almighty showing not just his submission to Allah swt but also his faith in the "hikmah" of the teachings of the quraan...
It is beautiful to submit ourselves completely to the will of Allah swt;
It is a feeling of achievement and completeness;
It is the height of a Believer's faith in the Unseen;
It is SUBMISSION only that makes our deen unique;
It is saying "ASSH HADU ALLAH ILLAHA ILLALLAHU
WA ASSH HADDU ANNA MUHAMMADAN
A"AB DUHU WA RASOOLLUH!!!"
Jazak Allah AliF for setting me on this quest! I still don't have your abilities, but I can now sip a cup of nice milky chai and type about my favorite subject in deen:)
May Allah swt reward you for your perseverance , Ameen!