Sunday, 13 April 2014

Preparation, Patience & Perseverance

As a child, I always remember my father preparing for Hajj each year - fortunate is he to be a tour guide managing groups of Muslims from London making the blessed pilgrimage of a lifetime - dressed in white drapes of cloth, summer sandals with a small piece of hand luggage he would be off to the airport. I remember watching the Hajj coverage on TV patiently looking through the crowds to find my father dressed in white. The footage shown would slowly scan the large crowds, zooming into rows getting ready for prayer. A month ago I found myself doing the same thing with my 8 month old daughter, as we watched the Isha Prayer live from Makkah looking for her daddy on the big screen making dua we could join him soon inshaAllah.

Preparation

The first part of my preparation consisted of understanding the situation I was currently in. I was reminded once again of a few simple realities. Getting what you want in life is not easy - whether it costs money, time or hard work. We, as humans need to go through tests in our life so we can undergo a type of training, and in my case of patience, appreciation and humility. Rather than asking 'Why am I being tested?' we should ask ourselves 'What lessons will I be learning from this?' And that is how I began seizing the time I had to prepare for this journey. I kept wondering - Allah has invited me to live close to His house, I need to step up and improve my relationship with my Lord. So can you imagine how much more we need to do to earn a life time of bliss in Jannah. SubhanAllah this migration made me think more and more about the little time we have in this life, and the hadith of the Prophet pbuh came springing to mind -
“Live in this world as (if you are) a wayfarer or a stranger.” And Abdullah ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them both) used to say: “If you live till night, then do not wait for the next day (i.e. do not have hopes that you will live to the next day), and if you wake up in the morning do not have hope that you will live till the night. And take (advantage) from your health before your sickness and take advantage of your life before your death (i.e. do every possible obedience in your life before death comes to you for then no deeds can be performed.)” (Bukhari)
One important piece of advice my husband gave me was to busy myself in the remembrance of Allah.  So I began working on my goals for the year ~ improving my salaah and relationship with the Qur'an ~ encouraging and motivating others around me. Alhamdulillah I have never felt more content than in connecting daily with Allah swt.

Patience

Being separated from my husband for a few months while he lived and worked in the blessed city of Makkah made me ponder upon our journey even more. This was one of our first tests: the test of patience. In these past few months, I have reminded myself again and again of how Allah swt loves those who are patient.
Oh you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (Qur'an, 2.153)
Whilst we planned to migrate together someday, he had to leave by himself on a business visa as per the policy and regulations in his work contract. Naturally, at first I felt I couldn't wait for time to fly by until he was able to return (3 months later) but slowly I began to realize that I needed this time to prepare. There was much to do. I'm not even referring to packing away material belongings and realising how much stuff I really have but, I felt I needed to prepare spiritually. I knew this test of mine was going to be a difficult one.
Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried? But We have certainly tried those before them, and Allah will surely make evident those who are truthful, and He will surely make evident the liars. (Qur'an, 29.2-3)
Being patient is not just waiting around for something to happen - for me it is more about being content with what is happening. It's always so much easier to say or type, but with Allah's help possible too.

Perseverance

Not knowing the result of something life changing or important can be extremely nervewrecking. The only thing that can get you through it is staying positive and having faith in Allah swt. When writing this entry I thought back to the Prophet pbuh's migration to Medinah. The patience and perseverance throughout the years of the social boycott that lasted up to 3 years yet the Prophet pbuh stayed firm in his belief and persevered by making dua and not giving in. His own tribe the Quraysh, had plotted to kill him yet by Allah's will he managed to escape and flee the town he was bought up in.

Persevering by busying myself in the rememberance of Allah swt, being patient and making dua constantly is the goal for the time being because four months on, I'm still unsure when I'm moving to Makkah. But inshaAllah I have faith in Allah's plans and with some hardship there will be ease.
Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease. (Qur'an, 94.6)
There is nothing more incredible than Allah's decree and only Allah knows (and maybe later I will come to realise) when it’s the right time to move.