God’s Will

golden-rays-through-clouds

The ghosts of oppressors past are haunting me so I have got up from my luxurious bed in an attempt to distract my school of thoughts. My tired head is rather missing the softness of my pillow yet the hamsters seem extremely chirpy to see me. Many a night they are left all alone in the dark to fend for themselves and run gleefully in their exercise wheels. Yes, the wheels do make a little bit of a racket but hey ho, they are happy.

Once upon a time, I was nicknamed sleeping beauty, for sleeping in all the time. Except, for a quite few years now, I can hardly ever sleep for nightmares and distressing thoughts. Ever since I was a young child, I have woken up in the night from some sort of terror or other. Sometimes, crying, screaming or shouting. I have oftentimes discovered a split lip or a bruised hand here and there from fighting out my dreams. My husband has described to me on numerous occasions how he had to try to calm me down.

My dreams only seem to cease when there are no triggers or reminders of the past or when I do not see my father for quite some time. Challenging times, people and memories just do not help.

I have some thinking to do but why can it not wait until I have had some quality sleep then I can be confident it is a well-made decision rather than following affairs of the heart.

Some people do not even know where exactly the heart is as I was shocked to discover a few years ago. Someone actually thought it was entirely in the left part of his or her chest… Erm, “no but why do you  not know this if both of your parents are nurses?” I questioned. I then explained how it is actually in the middle of the chest and it was the left side of the heart, which has the larger muscle so it ever so slightly comes into the left side of the chest… They did not want to believe me. Their problem.

Not many people also know for a fact that XX or XY chromosomes is decreed by the man’s sperm yet men dare to blame the woman for not being able to produce a desired girl or boy. Females only have XX chromosomes and it is always linked down the maternal side hence the double X’s whereas the man has both the female (X) and male (Y) chromosomes making theirs XY. If women do not have the male (Y) chromosome, how else could they produce a boy? Only with the man’s “input” if you like!

It has nothing at all to do with the moon either! You can try and be superstitious all you like except one’s fate is not up to you but God’s will which will be done. Just as it is God’s will that I put my fingers to the keyboard now in case one of you learns something from this particular post?! 😛 Que sera, sera. 

Sleep now beckons since I have succeeded in making myself chuckle, distracting and reminding myself the intrinsic beauty of mother nature and her designs, the predestination of all things bright and beautiful.

I now thank you, for your time and patience.

Zzzzzzz.

~ SJ (Sara Jae)

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A Leap Of Faith

I am not one to speak openly about my religion due to prejudice or my family since I am a private person so please consider yourself rather privileged in this sense and respect this personal post of mine.

When I was born, my parents could not agree on whichever religion they wished to introduce me to and bring me up by since my paternal grandmother originated from Italy but resided in Egypt, which meant my father was automatically Roman Catholic. My maternal grandmother was a Christian and quite a righteous person at that. My parents soon became weary of arguing so they decided to let me grow up and choose myself, which of their religion I wished to follow.

Growing up, I was aware of the different yet similar religions but it was not until I left school that I started to develop a keen inquisition, to find answers regarding who we are and why we are here. I could not understand at the time why people were calling Jesus, the son of God and the wearing / use of a cross. I could not understand why the Jews were so stubborn and seemed to use stratagems. I could not understand why the number of Muslims seemed to be growing so fast. I decided to let my heart decide during the course of seeking further knowledge, for answers.

There was a time during my childhood while I was in Italy visiting family, I knew they were Roman Catholics but this plague on their wall caught my eye since it was in Arabic. Intrigued, I asked my cousin what it said and why they had it. He told me that it said “Allah” and they had brought it back from where they lived in Egypt. Noticing I was still perplexed and not yet satisfied, he went on to explain that Catholics have one God and the Muslims have one God and that “Allah” was the Arabic name for their God. It did not matter what language or religion, there is only one God… That memory and defining emotion has stayed with me ever since then. Based on this experience, my heart seemed to be more inclined towards seeking answers from Islam than the older religions before it.

I wrote to the nearest mosque to me at the time, for any leaflets they could provide me with and to my surprise, I received a book along with a letter from the Imam. I could not believe the level of such kindness and generosity that I immediately wrote back thanking them so.

This book became the very first book I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. It all started to make a lot of sense, logically and scientifically. It was not just a hippy, peaceful religion for sandal wearing people. This fuelled my desire for more knowledge, and even more answers. Twenty years on, I am still reading books and sometimes, I even correct my husband who is a devout Muslim. They say converts tend to make better Muslims since they seek information in order to quench their thirst for knowledge and to be the better person they could possibly be.

One late evening, there were two young men who were trying to chat up my friend and I, in passing as we made our way to catch the last tube home. I could tell from experience, which country in North Africa they came from. I asked one of the men who was trying to pay me some attention, if he was a Muslim. Whether he lied or spoke the truth would only determine his character. He chose to speak the truth so I asked him in all honesty, why he was consuming alcohol and looking for attention when it was forbidden to him. He took a moment to reflect on his would-be answer but knowingly smiled instead. At that precise moment, he had every respect for me, for reminding him of whom he is, where he came from and to do good. I too relatively had respect for him as I sensed he would potentially cherish that moment, to help him become a better person.

Every being is born a Muslim but family life and peer pressure dictates otherwise so paths tend to deviate. If only people were able to realise the hand of Satan in all the engineering of situations and lures to increase ones desires. All of which is a test, of faith and character.

With Christianity and Judaism, the bible and Torah has been edited accordingly to fit around their ways of life, to make what was not permitted to them, permissible. The bible even more so. Each time certain people try to elevate themselves, they are actually debasing themselves. Not even one word has been changed in the Quran since it was first spoken, memorised and prescribed for the people to follow. When I first started to read the Quran, bits of it made sense and others not, of which I knew I would understand with time and patience. Upon reading the last page of the Quran, I cried a river! I did not want this unique experience and relationship to end. I then took to praying five times a day.

Within a month or so of praying, whenever I prostrated there was a dull pain in my stomach and I would remark on this pain to my husband. The pain continued for another month – especially each time I prostrated. Certainly, my body (and faith?) was trying to tell me something – that I was seriously unwell. My husband came to realise this too when he was told by the hospital over the phone that I had a ruptured appendix of which my body managed to seal off and turned into a mass, causing an abscess also. This meant an invasive surgery to clean up, drain and separate the organs from inside my stomach.

Leap of Faith (& Character.)

Prior to the operation, I did not think I would survive so I privately said my goodbyes albeit mentally, leaving my life in Allah’s hands by saying “Insha Allah” repeatedly until I was under the effects of the anaesthetics. This verse and my faith, gave me the courage I needed, to face the operation. An operation that saved my life, gave my children back their mother, my husband his wife. The doctor told me that I am extremely lucky to be alive today – I should not be here. At times, I very much struggle with that fact alone and I have to remind myself how I felt before that life changing experience and how much I trusted Allah with my life when I trusted no one else. In particular, it was not yet my time. Yet most importantly, my faith was reconfirmed.

As always, there is a reason for everything, behind every nature’s designs. Only those in a similar situation will come to understand my reasons for writing this and I can only hope that I have helped guide another by sharing how and why I became a convert. My conversion progressively occurred over a number of years as I researched, asked questions and experienced life and psychology from an Islamic perspective.

I would like to thank you for your patience and for sparing a moment of your valuable time to read something so personal.

Furthermore, extremism, terrorism, transgression of the limits and exaggeration, is not permitted in Islam.

“People of the Book, do not go to excess in your religion.” (4:171)

“These are the bounds set by Allah, do not overstep them.” (2:229)

“Do not waste by excess, Allah does not like wasteful people.” (6:141)

“Call on your Lord humbly and privately, He does not like those who transgress His bounds.” (7:55)

The Prophet Muhammed said:

“Avoid going to excess in religion. The people before you were destroyed by their exaggeration.”

Ahmad (1/215, 347), Nisa’i (3057, 3059)

He also said:

“Do not be harsh to yourselves, lest Allah be harsh to you. It happened to some people who adopted the harsh way and Allah treated them badly.”

Abu Ya’la (2427, 2472), Tabarani in Kabir (12/156)