So I haven’t written in a long time. A really long time. I think my last post was like two months ago. I’m sorry! Please don’t kill me.
So I’m back in the land of green and clean. It was so strange getting off the plane in Toronto and seeing everyone speaking English and people looking at me weird because I was holding a bright silver Egyptian lantern in one hand. I thought Customs would have a problem with it but Canadians are so darn nice. They didn’t even look at my stuff…as soon as I said I’m driving down to Detroit he said “Bye. Have a nice trip!” Wow…it was amazing. I wish all Customs were like that so I don’t have to stand in long long lines with kids crying and people profusely apologizing after bumping others with their luggage carts multiple times.
Anyhow, when I flew back I was feeling thing bittersweet feeling. I love Egypt. A lot. And I would have loved to spend the rest of Ramadan there praying behind the lovely Sheikh Rida. Sigh. But at the same time I really missed my family. Ramadan is not a true Ramadan without breaking fast with my family, eating Mom’s home cooked meals, and competing with my sisters as to who does more good deeds in the month. Okay the last thing happened only in one Ramadan…but still it was pretty cool.
So when I finally came back I was super excited to see everyone. I had been gone for almost four months now. But after the excitement of being back droned out, school started and my schedule started normalizing again. This is when it happened. My Iman started dropping. A lot. A guess a general meaning of Iman (ee-maan) is your level of faith. Iman is like a rollercoaster, sometimes it’s really high like during Ramadan when you’re able to stand 2 extra hours in prayer every night. And sometimes it’s really low like those mornings when you have a hard time getting up for the early Morning Prayer. Point being, it’s never really stable and you always have to work on it. It’s not easy trying to remember God all the time in everything that you do. We’re human and it’s okay to forget and make mistakes. But not all the time. The point of faith is that you’re continuously working to improve yourself and to strengthen your connection with God, to strengthen your understanding and increase your spirituality.
So why did my Iman start dropping since I came back from Egypt? One, Masjid Bilal was no longer in front my home. This was a huge downer. Seriously. I came back here and started masjid hopping, trying to find someone with beautiful Quranic recitation. Fail. Major fail. Everyone was terrible. Okay maybe not terrible but definitely not up to par. What makes me upset is that people are reciting Qur’an and they don’t even know how to pronounce the Arabic letters properly!! Guess what people? When you change the pronunciation of the letters in Arabic it easily changes the meaning of the words which essentially means you’re changing the Qur’an! Yea… that’s a huge problem.
Okay back to my Iman drop. I think a lot of it had to do with me being mentally exhausted from this summer. I was the Study Abroad Program coordinator for 20 students…running around Egypt trying to make sure everything was running smoothly for the students. Let me tell you, when you have that type of responsibility it becomes really difficult to focus on yourself. So by the end of the summer I was just tired and needed a break from helping others. I know that sounds harsh…but that’s how I felt.
I guess now that I’ve been back for a month its times for me to step up my game and get my connection with God back up there. This connection is a two way relationship. God will always hold up on His part, it’s up to me if I’ll answer His Call. I think I want to focus on slowing down my prayers and actually taking time out to supplicate to God sincerely.
“And when My servants ask you, concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [2:186]