A Reflecting Arab Muslim Girl From Around the Corner

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

everything happens for a reason.

If we live our life upholding the belief that everything happens for a reason, it can truly offer a deep sense of comfort….it provides solace to know that when things happen, especially things that we might perceive as bad, have a purpose...a positive purpose. That reason is most often not immediately known to us…and sometimes we wont know for years…and sometimes we will never know. But, simply internalizing that there is so much our limited capabilities veil us from understanding, and that God loves us and has our best interests in mind always…we can rest assured that whatever happened was not supposed to happen in any other the way than the way it did.

In Islam, there is a prayer known as Salatal Isthikhara. In that prayer, a person facing some kind of decision in life prays to God for guidance, and to make whatever course of action that is the best for that individual, blessed…and if it is bad, then you are asking God to move you away from it. During my final year in high school I believe, I was going through major major questioning of this relationship. I prayed salatal ishikhara for guidance on whether I should pull myself out of the relationship, or remain within it. I remember one day that I prayed it….I was in my mom’s room…I prayed it with so much conviction and so many tears. And, as soon as I finished, a significant sense of calm overtook me. For some reason, at that moment I felt that God wanted me to be in that relationship…and that it was better for me. This was the start of phase 2. I finally thought that yes, God knows what is best for me…and this is what I should be in.

Thereafter, I asked him to take me to an imam (a spiritual leader) so that we may become married in God’s presence ….I wanted nothing more than to stop feeling that I was doing something wrong…and if this was what was best for me, then I wanted to make it as legitimate as possible. He never took me to an imam…we went to a couple of mosques but he always said that the imam was not there. Then he introduced the idea of muta’a…a temporary marriage contract that certain shia’a sects believe in. I was not convinced...but it sounded like the lesser of two evils. Soon enough we did muta’a…and as with a normal marriage, he provided me with a dowry and I laid stipulations of marriage terms…one of which was that the ‘marriage’ would never be consummated. This is what caused me to feel less guilty and allowed me to lower my guard. It is what caused me to forget the stress I experienced for the first five years of the relationship while in high school. I still felt guilty deep inside…but I managed to convince myself otherwise. We would renew this contract year after year…until one day I decided I wanted it no more.

Now...if everything happens for a reason…then everything happens for a reason. I will never be able to understand truly…but there are many things I can think of. Post high school, I was going to be living away from home for the first time….who knows who I would have met during that time, and what could have happened if circumstances were different. Having him meant that my life was busy and any free time I did have I devoted to him rather than to anyone or anything else. He taught me a lot…about religion and life. And, ever since the beginning…it was my struggles with this relationship and the internal battles that I experienced which brought me closer to God. Never once, during all the pain, did I ever get mad at God. I went to Him for solace and comfort…I was mad at myself…and knowing God was there for me made me truly love Him and my faith. And now that I am able to look at this relationship in retrospect, I am drawn even more closer to God as I seek forgiveness and seek understanding of what occurred. And, given the anger and sadness I feel when I remember how it all started….I feel a sense of wanting to serve…to do what I can to open the eyes of people that need to have their eyes opened, and whose eyes I can open. I want to serve my mother. I want to serve myself by being the best person I can be to make up for the lost time.

But why am I rationalizing? There is no need to rationalize. Everything that happened was meant for me to experience exactly the way it did. Sometimes I spend hours rereading the posts I have written on this blog…and for some reason, I keep on doing that every once in a while. I always remember Khalil Gibran’s quote that ‘pain is self-chosen’ - reading them often puts me at a different level…most often feelings of hurt and sorrow surface….sometimes anger…but I can’t help myself. And I suppose one day I will understand better why I keep on reminding myself and why I put myself through those feelings. Who knows what the future has in store…perhaps the training in life that he gave me will be the best of lessons learned…maybe I will face a situation in the future which I will be able to overcome…especially emotionally…because I have been through it before and I know what to expect and how to control it. Who knows? All I know is that Allah loves me. And He knows my heart.

A friend of mine told me once that humans are meant to sin because it causes us to return to Him stronger so long as we manage things in the right way. And lessons we learn from our sins are applied throughout our entire life…and applied too, when we interact with others and advise them. They never leave us because they shape us. And, when we experience pain, God is the most compassionate…and through it, is trying to ease our entry to heaven. We just need to have more foresight...we need to remember this life is transitory and that there is an eternity that is to be faced by us. And, we would rather it be blissful….and if pain means rahma (mercy)…if after every isr there is yusr (after every hardship comes ease)…then we must be grateful for the wisdom behind the understanding that everything happens for a reason.

No child should experience such pain and confusion…but who am I kidding? How many children experience mountains worse than what I did on a daily basis. It is life…and God is perfect…there are just imperfect people in this world. Vile too. But this is life. Its about what we do about it that matters. How do we take control?

A few posts before I wrote about how ironic it is that the one leading to light can be the same as the one paving one's way to hell...perhaps vice versa is better...that there is nothing more ironic than the one paving the way to hell also being the one leading the way to light. I do believe that a lot of bad can lead to good…sometimes it’s meant to happen that way.

Sometimes when I reread my posts, I have a smile in my heart. I remember those feelings, and look at my life and myself right now...and just smile. I made it :) It was meant to be. God is Greater.


  1. Hey Muslimah, my name is John. I read a lot of blogs on religion and prayer and I've i feel like I've ended up here once before. I'd love to hear your thoughts about this prayer exchange website PrayerMarket.com I thought it was an interesting idea and would be curious to hear what you (or other Christians) think about it

    I'll check back here in the next day or two, thanks & God bless
    John W.

  2. I can't say I agree with all of this, but one thing is for certain, everything that happens, happens. I also agree that good often comes from bad and is often dependent on the bad. However, with all respect to what works for many good people, resigning to god's will or fate, trying to name god, defining god, or knowing god's mind strike me as the most absurd and destructive ideas that religions pretend to, the height of hypocrisy and self-agrandizement, the source of a lot of bad behavior. I lead my life as best I know how. The god religions purport to know is not my concern except in so far as it influences and in some cases even defines the behavior of other people. You are a smart, reflective and upright person. Credit whomever you want, none of us is self-created, but also take credit yourself because all of us contribute to our own creation and the creation of others.
    By the way, John Wilson's website will pay you to pray for others. That must be a productive occupation; there's no end of need. I wonder if he also sells indulgences, I could use a few get-out-of-jail-free cards. Geesh. What will proselytizers think of next?

  3. thank you wrinkledman. we are of course free agents...u are right too about also crediting ourselves.
    as for John Wilson...thanks for exploring the website...i decided it was spam and didn't give it much heed! prayer exchange sounds okay...but the market in the website's name convinced me otherwise :)