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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What does it mean to be a Muslim?

A day in a life of a Muslim
Before the crack of dawn, I hear my Lord calling me. It’s an invitation from Him, Allah to have a heart to heart conversation with me. I open my eyes, I smile and I know its time once again to meet my Lord face to face. I thank Him for the wonderful sleep and for allowing me another day on this earth to obey Him as best as I can.
Lifting myself from the warm bed and into the bathroom I run. After visiting the toilet, brushing my teeth, I begin the wudhoo, ablution. This is a special way of washing the different parts of my body in preparation of meeting my Lord.
I enter my bedroom; remove my prayer rug and I begin, Allahu Akbar, Allah is the greatest. What an awesome feeling! I can now finally speak to the All-Powerful, the Greatest. I know that I am praying the same way as the angels do. This has been told to me by our beloved Prophet Muhammed (peace is upon him).
After my prayer, I choose either to snuggle in bed for a few minutes or I decide to begin my daily routine. I feel a renewed sense of peace and know that this day is the best day of my life.
I am aware that in order for me to be in this constant state of peace, I need to choose to protect my senses and my thoughts from being exposed to anything that would pollute or disturb this peace. All praise is due to Allah, Alhamdulillah.
I choose now to see only wholesome and pure images whether it be in real life, or on a screen or on any paper. I choose to walk on a path that is away from any evil places, I choose to hear talks, music or conversations with others that would be wholesome and pure. I choose to eat and drink wholesome, pure and nourishing food and drink. I choose to speak the truth at all times, no matter what the circumstance. I choose to speak with kindness and love. I will seek to understand before I am understood. I choose not to judge or belittle any of Allah’s creation. I choose to think pure, wholesome and positive thoughts.
As I tread on Allah’ earth, I am reminded that everything I own belongs to Him and I have been chosen to be His trustee on this earth. Now that makes me very conscious of how I am using the gifts granted to me, e.g., water, food, money etc. I am aware that abusing Allah’s gifts would truly harm His creation and I choose to be the best trustee that I can be. I choose to share my gifts, my money, my time and my knowledge.
As the day goes by, I come across several challenges. As I face these challenges one by one, I understand and experience that as soon as I put effort with total trust that Allah is in control and that He is there to assist me through the day, I experience miracles. I see the challenges change into opportunities and I find that they have become blessings in disguise. Subhan Allah (glorified and perfect is Allah).
Allah invites me to a formal meeting with Him five times a day, before dawn prayer, the noon prayer, the late afternoon prayer, after sunset prayer and the night prayer. These meetings are a great opportunity for me to reflect, ponder and renew my intention and purpose for being here on earth. I can seek forgiveness, ask for my needs, thank Allah for His blessings, etc.
I live and plan my daily life in five segments. From before the crack of dawn to the noon prayer, then from noon prayer to the late afternoon prayer, then from late afternoon prayer to after sunset prayer and then sunset prayer to the late night prayer. Finally rest, from the night prayer to the dawn prayer. When I plan my day in these segments, I find blessings in my time and I feel recharged and energised after every segment. All praise is due to Allah.
As I reflect on my life as a Muslim, my day seems sooo easy. It’s like eating your favourite chocolate, says my son. Not sooo, I say. It’s a continuous inner struggle... This inner struggle has only one goal and that is Allah (swt). It’s the most painfully pleasurable struggle. This struggle has only one purpose, this struggle knows the end results, this struggle wants to struggle. It’s like a marathon runner or cyclist who is struggling, but he loves the pain and the sweat and the struggle, because he knows that what the end result will be and he desires the end result.
I am so grateful to the Almighty for choosing Islam, which means “peace” as a way of life for humanity. The peace and contentment is incomparable to any I have ever known, Subhana-Allah. (Perfect is Allah)