Friday, March 6, 2009

Don't Loose Yourself

Assalaamu alaykum,

I know that becoming a Muslim is for most of us a very powerful, life-changing experience.
For many it feels like the first day of the new life, where past is left behind and new welcomed with an open heart and arms. Most of us are eager to learn and to grow rapidly into the deen.
We adapt new manners, new thoughts and knowledge.

Some of us change a name, get married to a stranger, change our whole network of friends and family into new one. We might move into a different neighbourhood if not a country, change a job and turn our lives upside down on every way.

We also meet a lot of expectations from others and we do put them on ourselves as well.
We have an ideal of a sister, a wife, a mother.
We also often add up little on the expectations coming from outside, and it does not make the pressure any less, that in our communities, like in many others too, surface is kept shining even it would be all rotten inside.
Sometimes we are just so excited and high with iman, that we sink into the deen so deep, that on the day we'll get sober, we have lost ourselves.

We grow and we change, and every new stage of life requires adjustments. It is natural to have to give up certain things, and to adjust into what Allah has blessed us with. We have to make choices all the time.
For a new Muslim, or for a new-found Muslim changes are evident as we try our best to follow the deen. There is nothing wrong with that.

Allah does not call us to loose our personalities, to give up the things we enjoy and to accept all that happens in this dunya just for the sake it happens, without making an effort to change it.
He has given us responsibilities and commandments but He subhanahu wa ta'ala has also given us rights and examples of enjoying the life and living it full.

Sometimes we falsely think we need to give up things we love, when in reality all we have to do is to find an alternative way to enjoy them.
We adopt the new cultures and norms of our communities and husbands forgetting that Islam is different from culture.
We fall into that very trap of culture that we often blame born Muslims guilty of.

We loose our dreams and goals and adjust to whatever we face, no matter how unsatisfying the life can be. And many times, as we loose these little bits of ourselves, we loose many joys of daily life that give us satisfaction and strenghth to do more. And too often, way too often, we loose our spirits to the point we stop asking for our rights and keep adjusting, until there is no more left of what we were.

I don't call you on barricades sisters.
I call you just to keep living.
To drink that Western coffee instead of Arabic, if you like it.
To cook from your native country once in a while, even others in your family would not fancy it.
To ask your husband to take the baby so you can go cycling in the summer, not the the highway but to a forrest path.
To go and play soccer with your boys on the playground just mums and kids go to.
To read a book you enjoy, even you did not for years because after becoming a Muslim you thought its waste of time.
To be loud and laugh if that is your nature.
To go skating and sliding.
To do the things you enjoy and don't contradict your deen.
To never let anyone put you down to the point you don't know anymore who you are.

Sometimes, little things do so much.
Don't loose yourself.