When in my teens, I’d often talk to Allah and asked Him for things. This does not mean that I prayed all five times or even read the Quran with focus. I was taught to believe in Him and ask from Him but to obey Him was not too keenly inculcated in me. In other words, I was aware of His existence but I didn’t know what loving Him meant.
Life is not a bed of roses for anybody, and I’m no exception. I was 22 years of age when I was blessed with Li’l Man – my first child. Needless to say, I was unprepared for both the mental and physical challenges that plonk on you as soon as you become a mother. I was still wrapping my head around learning to be a good wife and a daughter-in-law, and now I had to look after a demanding baby too. What ensued was an experimenting phase with my child that left me confused, exhausted, sometimes enthused but mostly lost. The amount of advises that come in when you are a new mum are helpful but mostly irksome because you have yet to see how those advises are going to work for you. Also, the dilemma of choosing from the array of suggestions, that you haven’t really asked to be offered, is real.
Coming back, when Little Man was turning two, I’d grown a bit as a mother, if not much. And I thought I had grasped the bull by its horns by now. However, that’s when I was granted Wise Man – my second child. If I didn’t already feel at sea before, I felt cast away in comparison now. I felt alone in my struggle to manage everything along with raising a baby and expecting another. My health deteriorated and the deficiencies in my body became apparent in my health reports. My gynaecologist was not happy with my health graph whenever I was scheduled to meet her. I had also lost friends in my struggle to please the people around me. I felt confined and unreal. Tired and disoriented. (I can feel goosebumps on my arms as I recollect this phase of my life. Subhan Allah!)
This is the time when I was experiencing the zenith of misery that Allah (swt) had put me through, as a test, uptil then. Here is when, one day, I just fell on my knees and cried. I cried because I was in an utter despair. I cried because this wasn’t a life I had imagined. This wasn’t what I had signed up for. It was not just the kids, it was a lot more, which I yet don’t feel comfortable talking about. It was breaking me because I had given my heart to this cause. A cause that left me in pieces because my earnest attempts had turned futile.
Alhamdulilah, I am endowed with an excellent spouse. I couldn’t be more grateful for being married to him. He has helped me rise up in his own resilent and understanding ways. But, when Allah wishes to test you, you just have to go through your share of hardship. It was my folly that I considered the pain as a punishment at that time. But which, in reality, was my chance to turn to Allah. Because that was when I started being interested in reading more about Islam as a beautiful religion. My parents gifted me my first smart phone- a Blackberry model. I now had access to internet and I soaked in all the information i could recieve about my deen. I learnt that Allah desires ease for us. He has not assigned us to suffer at the hands of others. Our ultimate goal is to worship Him and that does not include enduring being wronged.
This is not to say that I dont waver in my belief from time to time. I sin profusely ever so often and only He conceals my misdeeds. But, what is so beautiful is that I now make haste to return to Him with repentance. I accept how unworthy I am but that His favors continue being abundant.
When I look back, I realise that it has all worked collectively for me towards where I stand today. Alhamdulilah, I am a mum of another tiny soul now, who has been the coolness of our eyes since the day he has arrived. I now write to my heart’s content, work proposals being aplenty and sometimes requests from dear friends to compose write-ups for their firms and small businesses. I now pray regularly all of my Salahs and a little bit of Quran daily too. I stay amazed at my three boys growing into wise little adults and who smother me with their kisses and love everyday. I have a clearer idea of what I expect from life and which people are my priorities.
So if you face a calamity, think of it as a path paved for you to come nearer to the Almighty by your duas, by turning to Him with sincerity, by obeying Him, by loving Him. Don’t despair or feel sorry for yourself. Instead, feel happy that He’s asking you to turn towards Him. Coz He gives the strongest battles to the most beloved to Him.
That being said, don’t minimize your pain either. Realise that you ‘are’ suffering. Being in denial doesn’t give you a chance to work towards reducing your hardship. You continue being in pain. Know when things are not going right for you. Reach out for help. Keep patience but also know that you are Allah’s creation and are worthy of good things. Create distance with people who feel toxic to you. Not everyone is meant to be pleased.
“And He found you lost and guided (you)” – Quran 93:7