On Saturday, I had a casual chat with a sister from America. I first met her when I went to this event called Muslims in the West. She was one of the speakers. At the event, she shared with the audience about how it was like for her to grow up in the West and the struggles she went through. How her family did not like her when she embraced Islam and even to an extent, offered money to her children to take off their hijabs. I can’t imagine how must that have felt like. Seriously, think about it. Being rejected by a stranger is hard enough, but being rejected by your own family? Man that's really tough. Not only that, she also did not get the support even from the people from her masjid. She said something very profound during her speech which sounded something like this;
“When I was not a Muslim, I met so many Muslims who talked to me about Islam and invited me into it. The moment I decided to walk into Islam, they left me. It was as if their job was to bring me into Islam and once I accepted it, their job was done. How was I supposed to survive?”
But being the smart woman she was (still is), she decided to learn Arabic and went straight to the sources; Quran and Hadith. You see, she believed in Islam. She knew from the beginning that the religion is perfect, it's the Muslims that aren't. So she didn't give up on the religion but continued searching for the truth instead. Subhannallah.
So when I met her at the mosque yesterday, I asked her how on earth did she do it? How did she learn Arabic? Where and how did she begin? We spoke for about a good 15 minutes and what I could conclude from our short chat were:
1. You have to have a burning desire to learn. You will do just anything to learn. When you have this kind of desire, you won’t be afraid to make mistakes and you won’t be shy to ask people the same questions for a thousand times until you understand it.
2. Make it important. Because when something is important, you will make a point to spend some time for it and continue doing it.
3. Be steadfast. No one will know if you give up but because you have imposed such importance to that something, you cannot afford but to be steadfast about it. It is a commitment and you just gotta keep pushing.
4. Don’t be afraid if you had to do it alone. I especially love this point. Sometimes we wish we could get some support while doing good things like this, but her words reminded me that if you gotta do it alone - even without the support of your closest family and friends, don’t worry about it. Allah will help. He alone is sufficient.
Two weeks ago, she embarked on a journey to memorise the whole Quran. And not only that, she wants to REALLY understand the Quran so she’s reading on various tafseers as well. Her goal is to be able to open any part of the Quran and actually understands it by heart. Masha Allah :')
I was very inspired. And I hope you are too.