Finding Your Way Back To Allah (SWT)
Submitted by Ilham Jama
When I was younger I was the kind of kid who never cared for finishing the Quran and didn’t try hard enough in dugsi. As I got older I couldn’t be bothered to pray, read the Quran, or do anything deen related. I’d fast during the month of Ramadan but would continue to listen to music and gossip after iftar. Deen was just never that important to me. It was like the older I got, the more irrelevant deen felt to me. It never once crossed my mind that I needed to change the way I was living my life.
During my first semester of college in October 2017, I experienced my first loss of someone extremely close to me. It was so sudden that it caught me extremely off guard. I remember thinking to myself, how? I just spoke to them merely an hour before so how could they be taken so suddenly? At that moment I finally realized that we’re not immortal. I’m not immortal. I realized everything is temporary and immediately wondered, what would happen if I left this world in this state? It was at that moment everything changed for me.
I began praying more, increasing in dhikr, and watching more lectures on becoming a better overall Muslim. Reading the Quran became a habit for me, a habit which I used to loath doing. Praying all 5 of my salah’s became an easy daily routine, something I couldn’t bring myself to do unless it was Ramadan and even then I struggled. For over 2 years I continued doing all these actions and even cut out music for some time even though music was a big part of my daily routine.
Until recently I started struggling again. I struggled with keeping up with my salah’s and reading the Quran again. I became frustrated and ashamed of myself. How could I go backward? I was doing so well, how could I let myself get back to square one? I would see people on social media who portrayed themselves as this amazing Muslim and I would immediately be disgusted with myself. They make it look so easy, what happened to me? Why can’t I be like that again?
It took me a while to realize that we’re not here on this dunya to be a “Perfect Muslim”. It’s okay to struggle. We’re all human and meant to make mistakes. There’s no such thing as the “Perfect Muslim” but rather bettering yourself as a Muslim. As for the people on social media, only Allah(SWT) knows the level of their Imaan and what they show on the internet vs. their real life. I learned to stop comparing myself to other people and to appreciate my own progress. It’s normal for your Imaan to have ups and downs because in the end that’s what makes you a better Muslim.
If Allah(SWT) meant to put us on this earth as perfect humans, then what would be the point of us being on this dunya? Istighfar( seeking forgiveness) is one of the biggest and most important part of our deen because we are meant to make mistakes. The most important thing is that you’ve recognized you made a mistake and seek forgiveness for it.
As we go through this Ramadan, I think it’s important not to push yourself to be that flawless Muslim. Just strive to do better and be better. Don’t overwhelm yourself with extreme change. Even if it's just reading a couple ayah’s or finally being able to pray Fajr on time. Don’t minimize your efforts this Ramadan. Don’t compare yourself to other peoples spiritual progress. No matter what small or big detail you decide to change in your deen, always be proud of it.
I want to end off with this well known simple yet powerful ayah that always helps gets me through tough times: فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا (“Indeed, with hardship comes ease” ) Quran 94:5-6. Put your trust in Allah(SWT) with everything you do so that no matter where you go in life, you’ll be fine.