I have to say I have been very lucky to know a lot of people. Although some of them might not have been good to me, I still learnt. If it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be where I am today. As any Muslim does, I believe everything happens for a reason (strangely enough, my mother’s catchphrase) and that who ever Allah brings into your life, he does so with reason.
I have met beautiful people, so beautiful that they are indescribable! Their soul is like the light only to warm you and shine your dark path. They guide you every step of the way with only your best interest at heart. They support you and accept you for what you are, and what you choose to change to. They are your shields, they are your lighthouses. Sometimes you stop and wonder how they are so beautiful.
Then there are the not so beautiful people who are succumb by jealousy, envy and selfish needs. Who use you and toss you away like an old cloth. Those people who leave you feeling betrayed and loss. They are the daggers that stab you in the back, they are the scars that remind you of the past.
Personally I think I owe a lot to the latter category of people. These not so beautiful people are the ones who thought me many lessons, lessons which at the time I hated, but now appreciate. Lessons which can not be learnt in any other way. Thanks to them I know now how to trust, how to associate, how to say “No”, how to draw lines and how to protect myself.
I remember my so called best friend in high school and how she filled my head with anti-muslim blabber. How she explained the ‘evil’ process of Halal meat. I was her friend when she needed a friend. She was my friend, again when she needed a friend. Alhamdullillah I met her! She made me wonder, she made me think, she made me actually start learning about Halal meat and if Muslims were really as bad as she said. I don’t know where I would be without her! Although I spent many nights feeling betrayed and used, I found Islam. Something I could never re-pay her for.
I remember my first interaction with a Muslim Sister. The unjustified words she threw at me. The acts she accused me of. It was shocking and hurtful. It made me feel lost and question Islam. Alhamdulillah I met her! She made me realize that Allah tests who he loves. He will set trial after trial because Islam is not a religion you can practice by words. I can never re-pay her for the connection with Allah, she helped strengthen.
I still remember an acquaintance who decided to take it upon himself to warn me of the consequences of becoming a Muslim and marrying a Muslim. The accusations of being a traitor, unpatriotic and just down right ignorant. At the time it angered me and made me feel like I was neither in this world nor that. Alhamdulillah I met him! If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have understood how ignorant some people really are. I wouldn’t have known that I had to be ready for the storm that will blow my way once people know I am a Muslim. I can never re-pay him for helping me prepare myself for come what may.
These people I will never forget, for they taught me so much. I don’t like them but I do appreciate them. Of course it’s never always bad.
I remember when I first prayed in front of my mother as she silently watched, she didn’t utter a word nor make a single expression. When I finished she smiled and said “You look like those Arab girls on TV”. That was it. She let me practice what made me happy. She didn’t question it, she didn’t enforce her will on me. To this day she accepts that we practice two different religions. She might have her off days (bought on by random reasons) but she buys me Halal meat and she reminds herself that I might be praying when I don’t answer the door for her. Alhamdulillah!
I remember my colleague (who is more like a best friend now) who helped me strengthen my Iman, who supported me and helped me with what ever problems I had. She was the first Muslimah to smile and talk to me like I was a gift (not the usual ‘your a wannabe hijabi’ attitude). She thought me the deen, and much about life. She was just so warm and unimaginably generous. She became my family. Alhamdulillah!
I remember the first day I wore my Hijab and I walked up to my friends in college, upon seeing me, silence fell, I was ready for the questions and the gasps, but no, all that was uttered was “Do you know which class we are in?”. To this day no one has questioned me. They refuse to remember my pre-hijab days and make it seem like I’ve been wearing it all my life. Alhamdulillah!
These are my friends and family, these are my beautiful people. The people who have been with me through the ages. The girls who I can talk to without feeling different, and the guys who know that they shouldn’t talk to me without my Husband present. These are the beautiful people I know and love.
Alhamdulillah for the journey of people Allah has taken me through. I can never re-pay each and everyone of them for all the things they have taught me and shown me.