Up until early 2017, I had the feeling like something was not right with my life. I didn’t feel at peace as a whole. And when I say peace, it’s not in the sense that everything should’ve been perfect and going on without any issues. I’ve learned that there’s no such thing.
God had blessed me with a wonderful life filled with what others who, when looking and considering only what they may have seen on the outside, would believe that I was doing just fine if not better. But again, something in me was just…off.
I was having these emotional battles within myself that I couldn’t get a grasp of and deal with. For instance, I had a horrible habit of dwelling on past mistakes, feeling negative about myself and feeling inferior to others, as though something was wrong with me and how I was made. I let the issues that I had within myself hold me back from having what I now know and understand is as peace.
The climax of my life reared its ugly head. I’d reached a point in my life through a series of painful events that led me to Islam (Alhamdulillah – all praise and thanks to God!), which in turn has allowed me to have a much better relationship with God, what I’d been missing my entire life, even if I hadn’t realized it. And I didn’t!
That thing that was off, that was missing was a relationship with God!
Superficially, God was in my life in the sense that I knew He was the One who created this world and everything in it. But that was about it. And yes, I am aware that my idea of God at that time may have been a great deal more than what others have about The Man Upstairs (how I affectionately refer to God from time to time). Even with that idea of Him though, I knew there had to be more.
Islam has helped me see and realize that there is! Becoming a Muslim has been The Best decision of my life! What I had to learn from my early exposure to this religion is that it’s not just a “religion”. It’s a way of life, and far from what the media at times depicts it as.
By it’s very definition, Muslim means to completely submit oneself to God. Unlike when I was Christian where, for me, worshipping God was going to church on some Sundays (also known as part-time worshipping), your life as a Muslim is all about worshipping God and God only – in every aspect of your life – all day every day regardless of where you are. What does that mean for me? Glad you asked.
When I first wake up, I thank God with words of worship. I worship Him with 5 prayers, I worship God with words of gratitude before and after eating. Words for God leave my mouth upon leaving and returning home. I worship God before making a major decision; in my dealings with people – being kind, gracious, respectful, merciful, offering a smile, and doing whatever good deeds I can. And lastly, but definitely not least, I worship God by reading my Quran. Do I do all of this every single day? No, but I strive to do so, and I’m doing more and more of these acts of worship every day especially after I read and learn more about how God wants us to live our lives – in peace and completely submitting ourselves to Him and only Him.
Through changing my religion, which has greatly increased and improved my relationship with God, my confidence and my perspective as I navigate this thing call life, that something I was missing is now my reality – a relationship with God and peace. And it’s a wonderful feeling to have and experience.
And to you, I offer, as I end each of my prayers, As-salamu alaykum – Peace be upon you.
What’s prompted your new way of life?