The Convert

I met an acquaintance the other day. I met him a lot of times but we only get to hold a proper conversation only recently. Though it was a short conversation, the content of it left me with sadness at the same time I am filled with inspiration of his strong determination.

So this guy, he is a Muslim convert (it has been a year I think, Alhamdulillah) and he is formerly from my school. I met him through camps, night cycling organised by the youth of the mosque.

There was this camp particularly that I remembered him giving a talk. He narrated about how his family poorly reacts to his updated faith and that he got shun by them. How heartbroken he was when he cannot perform his prayers openly in the house. It’s sorrowful when the two people whom he love dearly treated him negatively. What struck my heart most during that talk was that he mentioned Allah swt says that no matter how bad are you, if you are a Muslim you still get to go to the paradise. No matter how evil you are! But my parents, they aren’t Muslims. So no matter how good or angelic they are to the people around them, there aren’t able to get to Jannah! DO you know how dejected I feel? You guys can reunite with your family in Jannah! But what about mine? My mom, who has been struggling carrying me for 9 months, care for me when I’m sick… she can’t go to Jannah. My Dad, who has been taking care of the family, ensuring we have enough food on the table, protects the family.. what about him too? He can’t be able to be in Jannah… “

This is the same guy who get treated so poorly by his family and yet he still view them in such kindness! MASHA ALLAH! He still have thoughts for his family’s afterlife. I cried there and then. How could I not?

So when I met him again the other day I ask how he’s doing and how’s his family and stuff. Knowing his background, I don’t want him to talk about his sadness. Even if I ask him about his family, I am hopeful that somehow or rather he will jump in happiness and tell me that ” Masha Allah! I am so thankful to Allah that my parents finally have converted to the religion of truth” or somewhere around those line. But I can’t guarantee that he will say that so to be safe I ask a neutral question; “You are my senior from my school right. Which you do you graduate?” To which he replied “No, I didn’t graduate, I left school”  Totally didn’t expect him to say that. Of course internally I freak out because I have a strong notion (which I believe many of us share the same thought) that you cannot go far in life without an academic certification. In an exception of those minority who are able to succeed life in terms of wealth. You guys know who I am talking about (all those informational youtube videos watched have got to be paid off some day). Maybe because of my (strong) expression to his answer, he elaborated that it was because it’s a difficult time for him with his family and he was exploring Islam back then.

I was overwhelm with awe. He sacrificed his secular education for Islam. The rarity of people doing this is so rare that I can count it with single hand. One.  Subhanallah. It shows how determined he is to perfect his deen.

In front of me is man who had recently announce his faith in Islam and went to such extend for his love for Islam. And here I am who has been a Muslim for all my life and I am having difficulty to wake up for Fajr…. Astaghfirullah 😦 I felt so ashamed of myself. Why can’t I be like him? I have the best of situation and yet I couldn’t discipline myself for Him! But my acquaintance… he strive to perfect his deen no matter how difficult his situation is.

My tongue felt stiff when I try to process all the things that has been said. It makes the situation a bit awkward because I have no reply to that.

Dear Lord, The Lord of the Universe, The Most Forgiving, The All Knowing, grant me forgiveness for when I am careless with my words and distracted with Dunya. Grant the ummah forgiveness for whatever sins they fall into. Strengthen our hearts, strengthen our  faith & Imaan. Strengthen our will to prostrate before you and not fall easily to shaitan’s trap.

Dear Lord of the Worlds, The Protector, protect those who are in hardships. Grant them patience and bestow upon them your Hidayah and direct them to the path of truth.

Amiin! Amiin! Amiin!

I hope to see him again and hope that I can offer him my help in anyway that I could. In shaa Allah!

People of boxes

There were once some people who all saw their lives like empty boxes. They looked around the world, collecting up the things they liked. They filled their lives and boxes with the goodies that they gathered and they all felt in control, content and they all felt alright. They climbed inside their boxes and they settled with their trinkets. They neither looked nor learned much more and closed their lids uptight. Once they’d fastened their boxes they smile they’re inside, and they all thought in their darkness that the world was clear and bright.

But the world is not a box. There’s no lid, no doors, no cardboard flaps or locks. And everything in nature from the clouds to the rocks is a piece of the puzzle of the purpose of mankind. It’s a piece of the peace of Islam.

Along came a wondering wise man whispering such words of truth, who stumbled on these boxes, so separated side by side. He knocked upon the first one saying ” Please come out and feel the day”. An answer came from deep within, “You’re not one of us. Please Go away”.

He approached the second box and tapped thrice on the lid saying ” Peace to you inside, shall I show you a new way?”. Someone peeked out from a crack and said, ” You may just have a point, but its so comfy in my box, in my box here I will stay”.

But the world is not a box. There’s no lid, no doors, no cardboard flaps or locks. And everything in nature from the clouds to the rocks is a piece of the puzzle of the purpose of mankind. It’s a piece of the peace of Islam.

He stood before the final box. A hiding face peeked out to him and much to his surprised, he said ” I recognized those eyes!” ” I see you and you see me so why not come out and be free? Faith and flowers wilt and die if they are hidden from the sky!”

‘Cause the world is not a box. There’s no lid, no doors, no cardboard flaps or locks. And everything in nature from the clouds to the rocks is a piece of the puzzle of the purpose of mankind. It’s a piece of the peace of Islam.

Now centuries lie between all the prophets and you and I. Civilizations are born and die each and every day. We see good and bad and happy – sad and mad mistakes. We wish we hadn’t made in our attempt to try and live up to their way. But if we hide ourselves away, afraid to grow and learn we might wake up in the flames of ignorance that burns and we’ll never be much more than only casualties of war, in struggle we can’t win if we have no faith to begin. We’ve got to tip the lid and let some sunlight in….

‘Cause the world is not a box. There’s no lid, no doors, no cardboard flaps or locks. And everything in nature from the clouds to the rocks is a piece of the puzzle of the purpose of mankind. It’s a piece of the peace of Islam.

– Dawud Wharnsby