It’s been less than a month since I took my shahada (alhamdulillah), but I want to take a moment here to reflect upon the beautiful ummah and the brothers and sisters that Allah subhana wa ta'ala has brought into my life. There are a few people who just showed me such kindness that I don’t want to risk forgetting their love.
First of all, even if they don’t know the effect they had on me, the two niqabi women at the xhami. They were both there with smiles from the beginning, giving me congratulations when I took my shahada, but alhamdulillah, Allah SWT gave me the chance to get to know them a little more over time. Asma, is an Indian women who married an Albanian man and they have this doll of a daughter. She showed me interest, asked me questions, offered hugs, and just exuded a sense of love for Allah SWT in her absolutely sweetness. Khadijah and her husband are both Albanian which just thrilled me. It makes me so unbelievably happy to see people from our culture putting religion first. I met her when I was reading Quran before iftar one night. I was going to break fast in the main area, but her soon brought her food into the women’s area and she offered me a date and some water. It was such a wonderful experience, being with her, her daughters, and Asma all praising Allah SWT, sharing stories, and break our fast before praying in congregation. She was interested in my story, told me about her family, and told me her and her husband were planning to visit my grandparents soon (cousins).
Then there was Khadijah’s husband who approached me with congratulations and gave me a few CDs. They were audio with recordings of the Quran being recited. Ayah by ayah, the disks recite in Arabic and then give the English translation. I listen to them often on my drives.
There was the man whose daughter will be home from Egypt soon. She’s a hafiza, close to my age, and he thinks we should be friends. There is the imam who gave me a prayer rug, some books and CDs, wants me to stick around and to meet his wife. There is the wonderful Albanian mom who would make a wonderful mother in law, but no, I am unfortunately not interested in her son.
Ya Allah, thank you for showing me your love through these wonderful brothers and sisters. May You guide me toward a strong group of Muslimahs and keep my company clean and pleasing to You.
He was asking me how the transition was, if I was happy, etc. and then asked me if I planned to keep coming to the xhami (mosque in Albanian). Apparently, not enough Albanians are following Islam properly. So many of us as are born with the title of “Muslim” but use it as a mere title without taking into consideration the meaning of the word. Not enough of us live our lives in submission to our Creator Allah subhana wa ta'ala. Anyway, he was really urging me to stay at the xhami, to serve as examples for the girls that attend, to get involved, to show others the beauty I found in Islam that led to me taking the shahada just days before reaching twenty years old. He was saying that he’d like to have me talk and tell my story or make friends with the other women. He wants me to meet his wife when she returns to Albania. He gave me a prayer rug, some books, some DVDs. He just seemed genuinely interested and concerned with my future in the Muslim world here in our area. Subhan'Allah. Isn’t it amazing the opportunities Allah subhana wa ta'ala blesses us with when we’re not expecting it? :)
***This post was from the end of Ramadan, but I did not have internet at the time I wrote it.