This reflection is by far the longest one I’ve taken to write (It’s been sitting in my draft folder for a few years, and I wrote and re-wrote it over and over again, deleted and written again and again). It’s not because it’s about sabr and I wanted to write it with sabr (haha, bad joke), but in the light of today (1st of December) and of future events, I should get something out lest I forget and become ungrateful.
Sometime ago, I had my nikah. A long-distance marriage ensued, and for a long period of time, I had friends, acquaintances, and even strangers come up to me and say,
“For how long?”
“Why can’t you just go over?”
“It’s not right!”
I didn’t know what to reply, and it did nothing to kill the small voice in my head that was asking the same questions as well (especially at night, the voice was especially loud. Astaghfirullah). Insecurity grew. Impatience grew. I got blinded- I wanted to join my husband badly, and there were times, many times where I’d cry and be a pain in the ___ because I was so, so blinded by that want. Yes, the force of Shaitan was strong astaghfirullah. A’udhu billahi min ash shaytanir rajim.
“And whoever fears Allah – He will make for him a way and will provide for him from where he does not expect.” (Qur’an 65:3)
Alhamdulillah Allah made me stay in Singapore while my husband moved miles away. I desired so much to learn Islam together with my Imam, but Allah chose a different path for me- a strong Muslim community and teacher to watch over and guide me through my foundational years of learning.
“And He found you lost and guided you.” (Qur’an 93:7)
Alhamdulillah Allah brought me to Tokyo alone, because He knew that I needed that distance away from home to bravely start wearing the hijab for good.
Alhamdulillah he brought me to Tokyo Camii (I remember something pushing me to go even though I’d have much rather slacked off the day alone in my dorm room) and introduced me to the vastness of the Muslim ummah then; sisters who were strangers but instantly became family.
Alhamdulillah Allah brought me back to Singapore; It was as if He was telling me I couldn’t just run away, when there was a reconciliation to be made with my family. No, I couldn’t run away, the new me in my hijab; and He rewarded me with acceptance from my family.
And Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah! Allah brought people around me to constantly remind me of the blessings I had- 4 years is nothing, NOTHING compared to the trials which Allah places on many others – of years or even a lifetime of not being able to see their loved ones; what’s more, I had the convenience of Skype and the phone, to call as and when I pleased. In what way is this not a blessing of His Mercy?
Imagine if Allah had allowed me to take off on MY path, and I careened off like an ignorant bird who has yet to learn to fly. How much of His other blessings would I have lost?
“Indeed God is the possessor of bounty for all people but most people do not give thanks.” (2: 243)
It’s always easy to tell someone to have sabr. But it’s another thing, to learn sabr. We are always waiting for something, aren’t we? Our examination results. Our job interview results. Our upcoming wedding/home/car/family/___ (insert word here). And when we get that something, there’s always another thing to keep us waiting, and wishing for it.
The Wait is one of the most challenging experiences of learning sabr- it is inevitable. Months, years, even a lifetime can pass. But sometimes during that Wait, we are blinded by the thing that we want to have so badly. We begin to wonder why our prayers are left unanswered. It’s so easy, because we can’t see the end goal that Allah has in store for us, and we ignore the multitude of other blessings that Allah gives us throughout that Wait.
And if we don’t see it- we are indeed of the ungrateful.
Leaving us all behind with a message from Ustaz
Wahid (yes, I stored it in my drafts a good 8 months ago.)