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Monday, December 9, 2013

Reflections #1: Thanks and Giving

{Thus do We provide ayah (sign) for people who reflect}
 (Yunus 10: 24)



  There are are days, weeks, even months where things just don't mesh up they way we expect them too. 

And we, as women, hurt in ways that are not always dramatic or even visual. We hurt in silence, with smiles, while we are cooking dinner, ironing our husband clothes, bathing our children and driving on the way to and from the grocery store. Despite the aches from our souls and minds, we push forward.

There are times where I didn't even know I was hurt, until it had subsided months later and I had the space, security, and increased faith to reflect back on the event and claim it for what it was.

And this is a continual process. We struggle and get hurt. We hurt others and they struggle with us in return. The deal is how much reflection, growth, or even a simple acknowledgement do we even give to it? For most of us, not much. We just get pulled into the next stage of life and keep on moving, hoping we don't have to revisit those emotions ever again. And we certainly don't try to discuss it with anyone or share are experiences with other folks that we know are having similar experiences. To the cleaning, the basement, the shopping, the husband (first, second,third, fourth, etc), the job, or the kids we go. 

And we, as women, hurt in ways that are not always dramatic or even visual. We hurt in silence, with smiles, while we are cooking dinner, bathing our children and driving on the way to and from the grocery store. Despite the aches from our souls and minds, we push forward.

 Is it possible to become immune to  hurt? I've heard women claim that it is. But then I always wonder what they must lose from their own self in order not feel something any more? I don't choose to give up feeling. The good feelings and the bad feelings have purpose in our lives, in our praise and in our beseeching for help to the Most Merciful.  My story of hurt goes something like this:

Novembers are hard
for me. 

For years, it would just creep up on me and I would become undone.  I suffered in silenced, behaved emotionally immature  because I wasn't ready to reflect. I wasn't open to the idea of growth, of thanks, of giving what I had went through, or what I had learned. I was willingly carrying around the hurt. I had to let it go. 

My oldest sister was born in November and she died shortly after her 26th birthday. She, my sister, Sabura Faatimah, was and will always be the best friend Allah has ever blessed me with. She loved November hardcore. From Nov 1 to 31, she would just go all out. It was her month. It was fun and she was fun, always in the moment, and thankful for herself, mashallah. But she was also the older sister who gave, watched, and pushed me.  She cared for me like I was her child, though we were only 4 years apart. So much laughter, so many stories, so many trials, so many heartaches, but we were always together. Until we were not. 

Most of it is still a blur, but I remember Ummi calling me on the phone and asking me if I wanted to help wash her body. Was I up to it? Could I follow the rules? Would I be able to sleep the rest of the week......silence, I just let the phone drop to the ground. Ummi eventually hung up. Most of it is still a blur, but the reality was and still is, that her death was just, merciful and most importantly it was part of Allah's decree. 


I was willingly carrying around the hurt. I had to let it go. My sister, my best friend, my first companion --- would not be with me any more in this life because her life had ended so very early.

And when I washed her body and wrapped her, neatly and beautifully, to send her back to her and my own Lord,  time  accelerated. She was buried and cars drove off. We drove off.  No tears, no screams, just  promises in her ears that I am hopeful my Lord allowed her to hear. 

And we, as women, hurt in ways that are not always dramatic or even visual. We hurt in silence, with smiles, while we are cooking dinner, bathing our children and driving on the way to and from the grocery store. Despite the aches from our souls and minds, we push forward.

So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful. (Qur'an 7: 144)

I am still working on those promises I gave my sister, but some of them Allah has allowed me to fulfill. And I am still working on letting go of the hurt. But being thankful and giving of myself is something that I know without a doubt is required from me everyday because of my sister. I was given someone special and everyday I am thankful that Allah allowed and  desired me to have that experience of love, of sisterhood, of companionship, of encouragement in this life. 

And I share this all with you to remind myself and anyone dealing with grief and sadness, that it is important and necessary to reflect on our trials and our heart's scars. But it is even more important to be thankful for what Allah has given us and to give whatever you can of yourself in honor of Allah's continued bounty and mercy on you. 

Common Sense Tips:


#1 Talk with others dealing with grief and sadness and remember Allah's favor upon you

#2 Busy yourself with projects that will help some other than yourself and family

#3 Keep a journal and write about good memories, funny stories of loved ones that will help you to remember how merciful Allah was to brighten your life with someone so special

#Don't fight or shrug off your feelings of sadness. But do increase your prayers, supplications, and charity. Reflect, write, and give thanks to Allah. 


We  are living life.....and through faith, prayer and help, enshallah, you and us will be okay!