Finding Your Own

We are nothing but a few days. All that matters is how we spend these days. It is important that we tread a path that brings us closer to Allah. Our pious predecessors are held in high regard for no other reason except that they connect the creation to the Creator. This basically groups people into two categories: 1) the connectors, and 2) the connected. Those people that have been connected to Allah are able to appreciate and enjoy this connection, but there is a greater enjoyment in being a connector.

Being a connector is not the easiest of jobs though. It comes with great responsibility. One distinguishing quality of most connectors is that they did not wait for people to come to them to be connected. Instead these people went out and sought out those people that are disconnected with Allah and made an effort to connect them to Allah.

It is a reality that there are scores of people out there that are thirsty and willing to drink from the cup of knowledge. It is sad that many “religious” people have isolated themselves and insulated themselves within their own circles. The real struggle is to leave our own comfort zone, our own circles, and mingle with those people who may not meet our convoluted criteria of being worthy of our company.

What prompted me to write this is that many years ago when I was studying in university, a few Muslim brothers invited me to attend a meeting of the Muslim Student Association (MSA). When I went and saw the many flaws present within the meeting, I was disgusted and left to never ever be a part of something of that sort. My arrogance prompted by my own ignorance lead me to believe that these people are claiming to do something Islamic while breaking all the rules of Islam! What I failed to realize then was that even though they were doing many wrongs, I was involved in the greatest wrong, and my single wrong far outweighed their many wrongs.

Now that I have began going back to college, I was once again invited by a brother from the MSA to attend a meeting of theirs if possible. I realized now, after a passing of many years, that every MSA is different. When I went to the meeting, it was like I went through a time machine and ended up in the meeting I once went to many years ago. However, the one thing this MSA was doing was inviting a scholar from “our” fraternity for an event the MSA was holding. I withheld judgment but due to a busy class schedule, I did not go out of my way to attend the other meetings. However, I was excited to attend the event they had planned out. The event was open to all, from Muslims to people of other faiths, and men, women, and youth.

Sadly, the event was a total failure! The readers must be assuming it failed probably due to the lack of proper organization from the MSA, but that is not true. Unfortunately the scholar they invited to speak was unable to speak to the audience present in a manner that would connect them to Allah, and may Allah forgive us all, it actually turned many people away from Islam and from Allah. It was all really sad.

There was a thought that was stabbing me in the heart continuously. I kept thinking that we all studying the same curriculum in similar Islamic institutions, so why was I unable to take in what was said in that event? I realized the issue was not the MSA, nor was it the speaker, rather it was the manner in which the content was delivered. It disturbed me greatly and I did not want to be associated with people who would turn people away from Allah even if was unintentional. I realized that there was a great deal of damage control that needed to be done.

Ultimately, I reorganized my schedule and began attending the MSA meetings. As I matured, I realized that if there is something wrong with the MSA, it is not correct to just sit out and criticize them. The solution is to actively take part and correct the wrongs from within, utilizing the tool-belt of kindness, softness, and good character. Alhamdulillah, these people, who I assumed to be unreceptive, turned out to be the most receptive people. I realized that the goodness within them was always there, but I was blind and was unable to see it.

I hold no official position or office within their organization, but Alhamdulillah, my job is that of finding my own. My own people that I can connect to the Creator. Finding those people who do not how to connect themselves with Allah, and telling them this is the map of Quran and Sunnah, and this will lead you to Allah. I have now found my own brothers and sisters…a family that I had not known before, but our bonds are for the sake of Allah, and hopefully will never break. Those people that I thought were “my own” had only shown me the road to despair and despondency. The people I have now come across have shown me that there is a highway of hope and we collectively are traveling on it. It is important for us to leave our comfort zone and get involved with those whom we disagree with on miniscule issues but agree with on fundamental issues.

It is the greatest feeling to find your own brothers, your own sisters, your own friends, and your own connections that connect you with Allah, and those that you can connect with Allah. There are good and bad in everything and in every group. Try to adopt a positive attitude and bring about a change from within to that which you believe is correct, as opposed to criticizing from the outside without offering a solution.

Alhamdulillah, now I get to sit twice a week with my own and discuss a few housekeeping items, and thereafter review the 40 Hadith of Imam Nawawi (RA) and answer their questions related to any and every topic. I received a thank you card from the members of the MSA, but the truth is that actually I’m thankful to them for giving me the opportunity. One girl wrote in the card, “You make me want to become a better Muslim.” The reality is that they make me want to become a better Muslim. The only concluding thought and the point of this entire post is only to find those connections to Allah that you can call your own.

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