Hadith

Excellence of the Fajr and ‘Asr Prayers

Abu Huraira رضي الله عنه reported:

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said, There are angels who take turns in visiting you by night and by day, and they all assemble at the dawn (Fajr) and the afternoon (‘Asr) prayers. Those who have spent the night with you, ascend (to the heaven) and Allah, Who knows better about them, asks: “In what condition did you leave My slaves?” They reply: “We left them while they were performing Salat and we went to them while they were performing Salat.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

 

I am from there, he is from here

I am watching the live coverage of the Masjid Al Harram in Makkah while writing this post and I remember the time my husband brought me there after a couple of weeks after our marriage. We didn’t go for honeymoon and travel to the beautiful places and beaches in the world like the newly-wed couple does. Instead, we packed our things and travelled to Makkah for Umrah and paid a visit to Madinah. It was my first time. It was his nth time. He told me, bringing me there is the top in his list after getting married.

We are a product of an interracial marriage. I love my husband unconditionally but differences are inevitable. Most people say that opposites attract, but for me, two people have chemistry because they acknowledge each others differences. They know how to compromise and give way to each other. They respect each other.

My parents didn’t say anything against my marriage but I felt that they were a little bit scared. It’s not that they don’t care for me, to allow me to a such marriage but because I know they trust me. They just advised me to think about the possible consequences before engaging myself in it. Before we got married, we’ve been praying for Istikharra. I believed nobody can tell me what is the right thing to do except Allah.  If this marriage is for the goodness of both of us, He will facilitate everything for us. And He did. Alhamdulillah!

It’s been two years, quiet young I know, and we are still adapting to each other.

He is an Arab, I am not.

Learning Arabic is not only to communicate with my husband but for the main purpose of  being able to read and understand the Holy Qur’an. Unfortunately, until now I am not fluent in speaking Arabic even the slang or colloquial. Many times I was put in the situation when I was with his friend’s wives and I ended up being out of place. Although they tried to talk to me in English, they told me it’s just difficult for them. Well, so it is for me that’s why I’m still trying to learn Arabic.

Since I am a food lover, adapting to their cuisine is never been difficult to me. I love their food especially their sweets.  I tried to learn how to make their meals so I can serve it to my husband. There are times I am craving for my traditional food also so I will end up preparing both cuisines in the same day. We didn’t have issues about food at all because we are not forcing each other, instead we respect each other’s preferences.

For me, one of the advantage of interracial marriage is having the opportunity to learn new  things of different background and different perspective.

Sadly, when the families are not accepting the marriage, it’s making things complicated. When racism occurs, marriage is shaken. And I always have an answer for this. They cannot reject or despise this marriage because this is the will of Allah. This marriage is the fate He has given to these couple. He is the One who facilitated this union. My husband once told me, if Allah doesn’t want us to get married, it will not be facilitated even if we try every possible way. And I agree. Do you?

Hadith

Sweetness (delight) of faith.

Narrated Anas رضى الله عنه:

The Prophet ﷺ said, “Whoever possesses the following three (qualities) will have the sweetness (delight) of faith:

  1. The one to whom Allah عز و جل and His Messenger (Muhammad ﷺ) become dearer than anything else.

  2. Who loves a person and he loves him only for Allah’s sake.

  3. Who hated to revert to atheism (disbelief) as he hates to be thrown into the fires.

[Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Revert Life

For the continuation of my previous post regarding my revert story, here it is!

So 3 years ago, I accepted Islam in my life. I took my shahada in an Islamic Center in Saudi and attended the class once a week for more teachings. They taught us how to pray and performed it individually in front of the Saudi teachers. We used to recite Surahs and memorize them every week. It was really helpful for me to learn faster. I was memorizing Surah at work during night shift when the area is not busy. I took advantage of the free time I had. It was not an easy journey but Alhamdulillah they gave me my Certificate of Conversion after 3 months. (I needed the certificate to change my religion in my residence permit in Saudi)

My Family. Before I started attending the classes, I already informed by parents that I am interested in Islam and I have plans of learning more. When I finally accepted Islam, I told them through phone and they didn’t say anything against my decision. Unfortunately some of my relatives were against it. They were even attacking me for disrespecting my parents because of changing my religion and not asking for their opinion. Recently, I learned that my mother cried because of sadness when I became a Muslim but she didn’t tell me because she didn’t want to hurt me. May Allah forgive my mother’s sins and give her hidayah.

My colleagues. I didn’t tell everybody about my conversion to Islam. I only had few trusted people in my workplace, eventually they are the ones covering me up whenever I will go for prayers in my room. It’s not that I am ashamed of my new religion but I felt I was not strong enough to face their criticism and I was afraid of getting hurt especially from the non-muslims. I thought I needed more time and more knowledge to defend myself to everybody. I was like secretly preparing myself for a battle. I was studying and reading books about Islam.

My first prayers. I am a non-Arabic speaker so memorizing is very difficult for me, more so the pronunciation. I was taking long time to pray even just for two rakaats. I needed a very quiet place because a small noise can distract me and forget the next line. I even used to pray with a copy of Surah Al Fatiha and other short Surahs beside me just in case I get lost. During working hours (night shift), I used to hide in the vacant rooms so I can pray for Fajr. Some of my friends will help to cover me whenever  my patients will call.

My first Masjid Experience. I was alone when I went to the masjid for the first time. I was so nervous. I should be calm right? But I was nervous and anxious at the same time because I was scared that maybe I will not be able to do my prayer correctly during congregation. Asking Allah for support helped me a lot! I became calm when I entered the masjid Alhamdulillah! Now, I love to pray in the masjid because I am learning from the other sisters and I am able to focus more. I  love living here in Saudi because I am able to pray on time because masjids and prayer rooms are everywhere.

My first time to wear Hijab. I was not wearing hijab at work. I would wear it only whenever I will go to the mall or other places other than my workplace. Don’t judge me. I wasn’t ready. The day I left Saudi and went home to my country, I wore my hijab. My family picked me up from the airport. My mother was whispering to me if I can remove my hijab and answered her with a polite No, and she respected my decision. I heard my aunt at the back talking to my mother telling that they will get use to my new way of dressing eventually. From that day on, I didn’t remove my hijab.

Living with my Non-muslim family. I consider myself very blessed to have my family who understands the changes in me. I know a lot of revert stories which are too painful to bear. May Allah make them stronger and patient with the situation. Allahu Alam. I believe Allah will not give us challenges that we can’t bear.  Alhamdulillah, my parents are supportive. They are waking me up when they hear my alarm for Fajr, buy for me hijabs and modest clothes. May Allah invite my parents to Islam. Ya Rabb!

Friends. Some of my friends accepted the new me, and there are some who left me but it wasn’t a big deal for me. I believe Allah will protect me from the people who will try to hurt me. I met a lot of Muslim friends during the month of Ramadan. I attended Taraweeh prayers and got connected to them. We learned a lot from each other and we formed a group for Allah’s sake. Alhamdulillah!

May Allah guide me always to the straight path. Ya Rabb!

Now I am in the path of seeking knowledge because I still have a lot of things to learn.  I keep on reading books and listen to lectures. I love reading your blogs also because you inspire me with your stories so keep on writing my dear sisters and brothers!

My life is not perfect. I have struggles and challenges too that until now I am facing but I have to be strong and I have to be patient. As the Holy Qur’an says “Verily, with hardship there is relief.” (94:6)

P.S. I chose not to tell you my struggles so you will not feel sad. ☺️

Dua

A beautiful dua.

{ربنا لا تزغ قلوبنا بعد اذ هديتنا وهب لنا من لدنك رحمة، انك انت الوهاب}

Rabbana la tuzigh quloobana ba’da idh hadaytana wa hab lana mil-ladunka rahmah, ‘innaka ‘Antal-Wahhab.

“Our Lord, do not let out hearts deviate (from the truth) after having guided us, and grant us with your mercy. Truly, You are the Bestower.

 

The Day I was (re)Born.

How did I become a Muslim?

I was born and  grew up in a country with Roman Catholic as the dominant religion. Muslims are minority around 10% of the total population and most of them are living in the southern part of the country. I was raised in the North.

I remember when I was in the primary school, I only encountered the word Islam and Muslim in my History subject, and to be honest, I haven’t heard positive things. Muslims like to fight, they are bad, men have four wives, bla bla bla. I was ignorant.

I finished my studies in the University still uneducated of Islam until I went to work abroad.

I ventured Saudi Arabia with bad impression about Muslims. I packed my things together with my fear and anxiety.

I experienced culture shock. I saw black and white (traditional clothes for men and women). I was obliged to wear abaya in spite of the scorching heat during summer. I was obliged to wear head cover to avoid being lectured by the religious police. I felt strangulated. I felt I cannot breathe. Shops closes during prayer times, which annoyed me a lot because we have to wait for the shops to open again until prayer finishes. I had to use extra sign language to communicate with people who doesn’t know English. I felt irritated hearing the Adhan during Fajr  because it’s waking me up too early. At work, I was losing my patience when I have to wait for my patient’s mother to cover themselves, wear abaya, put on face cover and sometimes gloves before I can let the doctor come to check on their child. I thought I will not be able to stay for more than three months.

As time passed by, I was slowly appreciating the changes in my environment. I was in awe seeing my colleagues pray in the middle of our work. I admired their determination to complete their fast especially during Ramadan even at work. I was loving the Adhan because I feel like it’s calling me also to remind of my God who created me. I saw how men always give way to the women in the cashiers and when crossing the street. They don’t dare to look at them in the eye nor touch them. I was loving my new world.

There were times some of patient’s family will discuss to me about Islam. Everything they said to me will go out to my other ear. Unfortunately, I didn’t care.

SubhanAllah! 

HADITH

Narrated Mu’awiya رضى الله عنه in a Khutba (religious talk): I heard Allah’s Messenger ﷺ saying, “If Allah عز و جل wants to do good to a person, He makes him comprehend the religion. [The understanding of the Qur’an and the Sunnah (legal ways) of Prophet Muhammad  صلى الله عليه وسلم]. I am just a distributor, but the grant is from Allah عز و جل. ) (And remember) that this nation (true Muslims, real followers of Islamic Monotheism) will remain obedient to Allah’s orders [i.e. following strictly Allah’s book (the Qur’an) and the Prophet’s Sunnah (legal ways)] and they will not be harmed by anyone who will oppose them (going on a different path) till Allah’s Order (Day of Judgement) is established.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Three moths before I finished my contract, a new staff came. He was known to everybody as a religious and strict man. He talked to us only regarding work when needed. He will not talk to the women for the sake of making friends and chit chatting about personal lives.

He talked to me.

He told me about Islam.

He opened my mind.

He helped me when I had doubts.

I was amazed with everything I learned from him. I decided to go to the nearest Islamic Center. I didn’t tell to anybody at first except for him and one of my friend.

SubhanAllah! 

The friend that I talked to was already going to the same Islamic Center. I was more eager to learn new things. I requested my Manager to give me specific day of the week so I can attend the class. Without hesitation, she approved and she was happy for me.

Alhamdulillah! Allah was facilitating everything for me.

The first time I came to the Center, I was a little bit nervous and excited as well. I chose Safiyah as my Islamic name, from one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammadﷺ.

I took my Shahada.

لا إله إلا الله محمد رسول الله

lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, muḥammadur-rasūlu-llāh

There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.

Everybody shouted Allahu Akbar! Some were crying. Everybody was hugging and kissing me and welcoming me. I was astounded. I was trying to grasp what happened. I was so happy and speechless. I cried.

SubhanAllah!

I told him, the new staff what happened. He was happy for me. After a couple of days, I got a gift from him. I received a lot of books about Islam to start up. Indeed, I am so grateful that Allah invited me to His religion.I am grateful that He sent people to help me.

Just before I left Saudi Arabia, Allah bestowed me the greatest blessing, the religion of Islam. Alhamdulillahi Rabbil Alamin!

I am a Muslim. I love my abaya and modest dressing. I love my hijab and I feel I cannot breathe when I don’t have it. I am so happy whenever I hear the Adhan. I appreciate it a lot when shops closes for prayer time because it gives me time to worship Allah.  I am thankful I took the decision to pack my things and venture Saudi Arabia. I was changed, for the better and In shaa Allah for the best.

P.S.

  1. Although everything was facilitated smoothy, there were struggles as well. I will write next time In Shaa Allah.
  2. After a year, I got married to the man who helped me. (I left SA in 2014, I got married on 2015, Allah brought us back together, Alhamdulillah)