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On the journey.

2 Nov

Bismillah ar-Rahman ar-Raheem.

As I sit here watchingMeccalive on the first day of the month Dhul Hijja after having suhoor and praying fajr, I can’t help but reflect on the amazing journey both Abderraouf and I have been on in the past few years.  His journey, his whole life, has been so remarkably different than mine but Allah has brought us together according to His will.  I never could have imagined this is where I would be in my life.  Before I moved toItaly, I was stuck.  I was unhappy.  I was seemingly content in letting life pass me by without a thought.  Allah changed me on that plane toItaly, I just didn’t know it yet.  Allah already had His plan in place for my life.  He gave me my apartment in the city center, He planned my days, He knew that I would walk by that restaurant that day, and He knew that it would change my life forever.  It would change my life in the best way possible.

Abderraouf was a different person on that day I met him than he is now.  As I watch all the pilgrims inMeccapreparing to pray Asr, I really can’t believe that he is there now.  I can’t believe how his priorities have changed so dramatically.  He may have had the dream to go to hajj one day in his mind, but he thought it was years and years away.  He may have had a fleeting dream to help his parents to attend hajj, but it was just a thought.  Now he’s inSaudi Arabia, praying Asr with millions of other Muslims from around the world, fulfilling one of the pillars of our religion.  He’s helping his parents make tawaf around the Kaba’a and ultimately assisting them in performing their hajj.  I can’t imagine what he’s feeling right now and how happy he must be.

As he partakes in this journey, I can’t help but think about my own journey.  Where I am now is not where I thought I would be five years ago, three years ago, or even last year.  Allah has put so many gifts in my life that I often forget about or ignore.  Never did I think that I would enjoy staying at home and have such a strong desire to be a mother.  When I quit my full time job, I was scared that we weren’t going to be able to have enough money to pay the bills each month.  Not only did Allah help our family have enough money to pay the bills, He put barakah on our money and has given us the gift for Abderraouf to go to hajj, to send his parents to hajj, and to take care of our needs here in the States.  It’s truly incredible.  And with just a little hint of faith, I’ve realized that anything is possible.  Allah doesn’t require us to be the “best” Muslim or have the most faith to give us the things we really need.  In being grateful of these things, I have realized that so many of the things I thought I needed were really just wants.  I have generally lived a comfortable life.  I was never rich, but I was able to do many of the things I wanted.  Now I live in a different income bracket and can’t always do things I want to do (like most people), but I am happier than I’ve ever been.

I know that I have much farther to go on my journey, but ultimately, I’m happy with where I am right now.  I’m happy with the friends I’ve made that have become my Muslim family, I’m happy with our little family and how we’ve grown just in the past two years, and I’m happy with myself.  For the first time in a long time, I can say that I’m happy with myself – where I am and where I’m going.  InshaAllah, I’m on the right path and on my way to even more happiness.

On Blogging

28 May

Bismillah.

A few years ago I had a blog that I wrote in very frequently.  It was my way of getting some of the thoughts out of my head.  My way of connecting with a few people all around the world.  I’m starting this blog as a way to do the same when I’m at a totally different place in my life.  I’m not sure where this will take me.  What path this blog will take.  I think I need a way to get out some of the thoughts swirling around in my head.

Since quitting my job, I have had such an interesting mirage of feelings.  I still sometimes feel like I’m on vacation and will have to go back there any day now.  Yesterday, I had to go in to the store to pick up a prescription and had a little realization that I don’t work there.  I had to give my old boss something and couldn’t just walk right into the back room to place the envelope on her desk.  And, it feels good.  That place was holding me back.  The money I was making there was haram.  It wasn’t getting me anywhere.  Since working there, the only thing I had done was build up credit card debt (pre-Islam) and not be able to pay it off.  That haram money wasn’t helping me pay off any of my debt.  The job was stressing me to the max, wasn’t helping my home life in any way and was severely hampering my future.

I quit.  I did something for myself.  I did something for my family.  In my previous life, it wasn’t often that I did something for myself.  I was so often looking to please everyone else.  That had gotten better in the past few years, but I still wasn’t great at it.  Living in Italy and having my husband live across the ocean for over a year made me a stronger person.  It made me realize that I can do it on my own.  I can, but it is a lot nicer to do it with someone by my side.  And with friends that really care by my side.  Move across the ocean and you find out who your true friends are.  Convert to Islam and find out who your TRUE friends are.

Converting to Islam has brought so many things full circle for me.  Allah has blessed me by bringing me to the religion.  Allah only guides those who He wishes and alhamdulillah that Allah chose me.  Through/because of this conversion, Allah has blessed me with an extraordinary husband.  And Allah has blessed me with some amazing friends.  Friendships that I didn’t know that I could have.  The most important common bond is our relationships with Allah.  This relationship allows us to be better friends to each other.  Subhanallah, these friendships are amazing.  To be able to tell someone how you are truly feeling.  To be able to talk about how you are feeling at all is truly extraordinary.  And to always have that one common bond is really divinely from Allah.  Alhamdulillah.

Hadjeb al Ayoun

5 Dec

Eyebrow and Eye.  The name of a city in the middle of nowhere in Tunisia.  A town I stayed in for three weeks and actually miss.  While I was there, I never thought I’d say that.  But, it was nice.  It was nice having neighbors that would look out for you even if they had only met you a few days before.  Neighbors that would bring you plates full of food even though you had only met them a few days before.  Hearing the athan throughout the whole city was quite the experience.  One day, maybe we’ll be able to hear that here in the United States.  Experiencing my husband’s childhood in the small way that I did really gave me insight into who he is and insight into who I am.  It’s amazing how different we really are.  But, incredible how we came together and how well we get along.  Allah truly had/has a plan for me and for all of us.  Never in a million years did I think that I’d be Muslim, married to a Tunisian, and just so happy.  Alhamdullilah.