- H.T. from ELEVEN
Healing through God
Things aren’t always good. In the very essence of Islam, this dunya is a testing place for the believers, likened to be a prison for the believers and paradise for the disbelievers, as narrated by Prophet Muhammad SAW. At some point or another, life is unpredictable and things don’t go your way, and that happens to all of us. This is for all my sensitive friends who feel a little more, cry a little more, laugh a little harder, smile with all your heart - living life on the emotional side. For us, during these moments, our edge- emotions give rise to a mountain of questions and thoughts like - why me, God; when will life get back to being smooth sailing; perhaps, God dislikes me; I’m probably just unlucky. It is hard to not get caught up in these thoughts that make us doubt ourselves and the plausible turnout of a better future.
If you are one who’s constantly battling your edge-emotions, you can probably recall a time where you had been in the trenches of your lows - where you felt no escape from the pain you were feeling, from the hurt of having lost someone you thought would be there with you throughout, along with the complete innocence of not knowing why fate turned out to be that way. My all time low took shape during my peak adolescent years, in junior college. I was at a point where I definitely needed help or else it wasn’t going to end well for me. Therapy? Didn’t help. Opening up to my parents? Nope. Confiding in my friends? Nah.
Being the product of an independent woman, I was nurtured to be self-reliant and mature at a young age, because a single parent hardly has the time to tend to the emotional needs of a child. Growing up with a strong woman, who shows up with love, gleaming with optimism on her good and bad days, taught me how to thrive despite all losses. I have been navigating the universe alone since I was fifteen, setting my goals and working for both worlds. I would consider myself to have been very put together at that very young age, thriving despite having been through the trauma of losing a parent. I was very academically driven, just like any other Asian kid who is constantly stressed to strive for excellence.
Ironically, it seemed to many that I was doing very well for myself, but there was a constant lingering of voidness in my heart that I never gathered the courage to address, and it gradually built a soulless self. A few years later, I felt a sudden pull into a mental state of uncertainty, with pain of neglect, stress from not meeting expectations, insecurities, low self-esteem, and self-doubt piling up on me all at once. I was down-spiralling into a state of prolonged sadness, one that made me feel like I was never good enough, worthless, hopeless, and didn’t deserve any good to come upon me. Why and what made me feel that way? Honestly, till date, I can't base it with any logical reasoning. But what I am sure about is that it was the trick and wicked plan of shaytaan - whose existence we should never take lightly. He is within us and would guide us away from the straight path, from before us, behind us, our right and left (The Qur’an, 7:16-17). Shaytaan makes us dwell on our past and on our fate, and blame ourselves for the bitter moments in our life. He deludes our divine origin, which is foundationally built on love, and makes us feel unworthy of Allah SWT’s endless, generous love and mercy. He deludes us of eternal hardship, although Allah SWT promises us ease after every hardship (The Qur’an, 94:5-6). And so, I felt trapped and hopeless of a better future.
All I wanted was healing. I just wanted to smile and laugh like everyone else, shaking off all the weight on my shoulder and sorrow in my heart. I remember making du’a to ease my misery, while stuffing my face into my pillow and wailing my heart out - a du’a that opened my blind heart to embrace the love of Allah SWT. Gradually, I realised that every good and bad in your life is Allah’s qadr for you, and for a Lord who is Al-Wadud (The Most Loving), He never intends harm upon us. As narrated by Abu Hurayrah RA, Allah SWT hates hurting us (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith Qudsi, Hadith Number 25). And so, every bitter moment is a bittersweet moment, because there is always an innate divine goodness in it. It took me a few months to internalise that Allah is indeed in control of this entire universe, and He holds all the might and power to our qadr.
Nothing could bring me harm unless He wills and He wouldn’t wish that upon a faithful servant. It is Allah’s love to test His faithful servants and let them discover their own strengths through these trials that bend and renew us. Through all the trauma that I went through, I am so proud to be the person I am today; a better Muslimah, a better daughter, a better friend, and a better person to myself.
Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah.
My battles have opened my eyes to the love humanity is in need of and the importance of speaking good to people or else keeping silent. They have allowed me to experience strength, through the Almighty, on levels I never thought I could touch. I possess resilience and perseverance beyond my past-selves, and now I know that the endless journey to betterment is never a clear voyage.
The heart is the most alive part of a man, beating round the clock, working the hardest. Studying physiology has made me appreciate the creation of this complex organ and essentially The Creator of it. The heart was made to love, to love its Master, to love thyself and to love the divine connection. When the heart goes astray and loves something else, it shouldn’t quite be weighing worthy of precedence to loving God - that is a cue to shaytaan to drag us down to our edge-emotions. Allah’s love is eternal and unflawed, one flawed and mortal mankind could never comprehend.
“Moonlight floods the whole sky from horizon to horizon; How much it can fill your room depends on its windows.” - Rumi
We are a hollow creation - made out of atoms, that holds 99.99% of empty space, and so we can never feel whole, never feel enough all on our own. It is only through casting all our insecurities on Him, and asking Him to guide us through this unpredictable testing place that we can feel whole. We are not distinct from Allah, we are a part of Him, our rooh is His breath, and so, decreasing in His remembrance and distancing ourselves from Him would always leave us feeling our edge-emotions, and it crafts an easy way in for shaytaan.
It takes us all a fall to climb out of our delusions and face the reality of life and the divine purpose of our existence. I just want you to know that you’re all that you got. Be kind to yourself, take it easy and slow, know that you are exactly where Allah wants you to be, and you, right now, with all your imperfections, are perfect, and are what Allah loves. Whatever He has blessed you with, regardless of how little or big, is enough for you. He is enough for you.
“Hasbunallahu wa ni'mal wakeel.”
“Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He] is the best Disposer of affairs.” (Al-Qur’an, 3:173)
Trust in Him and in His wisdom that mankind could never comprehend. Use your pain and ground your purpose. May Allah guide you and me, ya ukhti/akhi.