That would be me.
The Muslim dummy.
Considering I have so many people in my life with Islamic knowledge, I feel like I know nothing about Islam. I lack motivation. For the life of me, I can't self-motivate myself. And once, after much time, I am motivated, I feel like I lack resources and teachers. For some time, my friends have been my main source of learning and knowledge. But since every one of them has kind of gone their own separate way and busy schedules leaving everyone drowning in God knows what, my friends and I haven't been able to connect----Islamically, I guess you could say.
Anyways, so recently I experienced two things that most Muslims experience very early in their life. Or at least by their prime years. And here I am experiencing it in my mid 20's.
I went to visit the graveyard and I went to the mosque for Eid prayer.
I don't think many of my close friends know this about me. Normally I would have felt kind of embarrassed to admit this. But right now, I think I can get past it. Or at least force myself to, in order to share the story.
I recently got married (Finally!??? And Alhamdulilah!) and since I've gotten married, I've talked to my husband about my maternal grandfather a lot. As I've mentioned before, I lost my maternal grandfather a couple of years ago to cancer. And I've always referred to nana as my partner in my crime. So since getting married, I've always felt that missing piece knowing that my grandfather wasn't there to celebrate this joyous occasion with me and my family and is not able to get to know my husband. Nonetheless, it's something I've learned to not think about or dwell on.
Since my grandfather passed away though, I haven't had the courage to visit his grave site. It's something that I chose not to do because I felt like I wasn't emotionally ready to do so. I knew that I couldn't handle seeing his name on a tombstone and think about how he wasn't around anymore. It just became a personal choice of mine to not visit his grave. And I know some people might think it's a bit harsh and a bit inconsiderate considering the relationship my grandfather and I had, however I don't feel the need to defend this.
So along came my husband, and I wanted him to know my grandfather. My sisters, my husband, and I were near the graveyard one day and my sisters suggested going to the graveyard and sending our blessings to everyone we knew that was buried there, including my grandfather. I said that I would stay in the car and send my peace and blessings from the car. But my husband insisted that I go and told me that it would be okay if I went and how in Islam, Muslims believed that there was a reward for visiting the deceased and sending your peace and blessings to them. And praying for them and their soul and their mercy.
So reluctantly I obliged. And I went into the graveyard. And I saw many people I knew that had passed away.
And it was hard.
Harder then I thought it would be.
And it was definitely a learning experience.
Second thing I've very recently experienced was going to Eid prayer. This Eid being the Eid where we commemorate and remember Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) and Eid falling on a Sunday, I was able to attend the prayers with my husband. It was such a happy day for me. I felt like such a kid going to the candy store. I was in awe by things that might be mundane for everyone else. And I was nervous and felt like I would make mistakes. So I asked my husband to tell me what to expect and what to do. I even learned about some traditions and customs that are performed in the masjid during this particular Eid. And I also learned about the pilgrimage that Muslims make to Hajj during this time. And lastly in the lecture, or khutba that, the imam (leader of the mosque), I finally heard the full story about Prophet Ibrahim and the sacrifice he was willing to make for God.
And yes, it is sad that I didn't know that story.
It's also sad that I'm experiencing this so late.
But I'm very grateful that I was able to.
Alhamdulilah. I feel incredibly blessed.