I’m a barely-there Muslim. I try hard to not do ANYTHING if it doesn’t come from my heart -even in trivial matters like sending someone a message or writing on a topic. This goes for my deen and because I don’t have much in my heart, my practices rarely exceed the waajibaat ( obligatory rituals).
After 8 or so years of hard-core practicing rooted in perfectionism and chronic cynicism of myself – I crashed and burned. I was on the verge of disbelief. It’s a miracle, nothing short of a miracle that I have love still for Allaah. Alxamdulillaah.
I think I ran away from my existential depression and lack of identity into the deen as a form of escapism. I was 16 with a heart too big, a mind too deep for this world. I kept running until my back was up against the wall. Everything that I had been running away from caught up with me, and now all my religious experiences were tainted with the fear always breathing down my neck.
Everytime i felt low, I’d berate myself and push myself harder,faster. Imaam Shaafici finished the Qur’aan twice a day? I’m a loser. This person memorized the Qur’aan in a month? I’m stupid and lazy. That person memorized the Alfiyyah? I’m a failure.
I thought that if I didn’t do EVERYTHING, Allaah would never be pleased with me. I projected on Allaah my deep-seated self-hatred. I saw Allaah the way I was. I thought no way would my eemaan be accepted as-is. I had to prove myself to Him.
In reality though, I was rarely conscious of Allaah. I was so focused on running from the abyss within ( god I use that word too much dont I) on compensating and contrasting myself with others. And I’d never achieve my goals because my goals were beyond the reach of human nature, to reach the stars but I still reached far. And in came the arrogance, the smugness. I’d feel good for a moment before the rug would be pulled from beneath me. Allaah saved me from myself by breaking that self into smithereens and dispersing the ashes into the ether.
I truly went down the rabbit hole. I’m a real-life Alice 😂😂:(.
So Ramadaan is triggering for me. I don’t fast, I haven’t been fasting for three years now because of non-diabetic hypoglycemia. I pay fidyah ( required compensation for the permanently exempt)
The irony is that I started developing that disorder back in 2007/8 because I’d fast every Monday and Thursday for YEARS. I’d leave home without suxuur, and eat whatever was for lunch at iftaar. I wouldn’t even bother to prepare anything. So my blood would be SPIKED with glucose at once, which I guess triggered my genetical disposition ( my dad and uncle have the same conditions).
Queen of tangents, I is. My point was, I don’t fast so I’m in this weird space where I have the space to reconstruct a consciousness of Allaah that isn’t tinged with the blood of the past. And that’s what these rediscovery posts are about; unpacking, observing, acknowledging, redefining.
So I just sit with my human sinfulness and try not to cover up my gaping shortcomings with things I label cibaadaat but aren’t really. I try to be conscious of Allaah from where I am at the moment. From a place of authenticity and vulnerability. Accepting my innate imperfections and appreciating Allaah’s magnificence.
And now that I’m no longer trying to leave the earth to reach for the stars, I can actually marvel at the nightsky and the One who created it all.
الَّذِينَ يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ قِيَامًا وَقُعُودًا وَعَلَىٰ جُنُوبِهِمْ وَيَتَفَكَّرُونَ فِي خَلْقِ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ رَبَّنَا مَا خَلَقْتَهَٰذَا بَاطِلًا سُبْحَانَكَ فَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ
Those who remember Allâh (always, and in prayers) standing, sitting, and lying down on their sides, and think deeply about the creation of the heavens and the earth, (saying): “Our Lord! You have not created (all) this without purpose, glory to You! (Exalted be You above all that they associate with You as partners). Give us salvation from the torment of the Fire.
(Aali Imran 3:191)