By Fadia Bint Ismail

Where do i begin? well for starters my life really began when i moved back to Cape Town South Africa after living in Australia for 9 years of my life, i cannot say that it was time wasted but i can say that it was an experience and i truly believe that whatever we do in life where ever we go or end up is through our Taqdeer that has been set out by Allah (SWT) from the moment that we are born.

This is my story…..

My move back to South Africa, moving back was a huge change in my life i came from being dependent on my family to having to become independent; i was 17 at the time. I was living with my grandmother she was a wonderful women who taught me a lot of useful things and partly the person i am today is through her. There may not have always been perfect moments but i will always remain grateful for those moments that began to shape my life. In the year 2005 i started studying at Cape Peninsula University of technology an even greater challenge because i spent all my school days in Australia. How it became a challenge? well first of all i started doing Internal Auditing part time the crowd was mostly older more experienced people and i was still very inexperienced and very naive i had to slowly adjust to my new life. I had no mother or father to run to as they were living in Australia, i chose to move back so i had to pull my socks up and make it work and it was all worth it because i was back in my home country. After a couple of years i adjusted quite well made some friends and became independent well so i thought.

In life you make many mistakes and eventually you learn from them. Not everyone is perfect and i certainly would not want to be perfect how boring would that be. i wanted so many good things for my life but sometimes it does not always turn out how we want it to be but that is the beauty of Allah’s guidance, sometimes we think something is good for us but in actual fact it is not. But Allah knows best. i faced many obstacles many struggles many good moments and many bad moments would i change any of that? i would have to say no i would not because the things we do shape us into the person we are today but ultimately it is what type of individual we are we are sometimes weak and we are sometimes strong through challenges we can certainly see which one reflects most often.

After a few years i then decided to take a break from studying as i felt it was affecting my life i went through a huge change spiritually after years of neglect i finally Alhamdulillah made my way back and with the things i thought were making me happy in actual fact were things i attached myself to for the wrong reasons and that was the main reason i decided to take a break from studying. My path lead me toward a different direction and I had to take a step back in order to gather my thoughts. i started working full time it was the first time that i had worked in South Africa and this to was a change but a good experience i met new people discovered new things became more open and my life felt more content i had Allah (SWT) guiding my every step it was a feeling i could never explain but when you have contentment all those worries just seem to disappear and when you have Allah(SWT) in your life everything that seemed right were shown to be wrong and i will forever be grateful that even though for many years i neglected my spiritual beliefs Allah(SWT) gives you a chance  and guides you in just the right moment. SubanAllah.

It is said that you should try not to attach yourself and your heart to anything besides Allah (SWT) for anything attached other than for the sake of Allah (SWT) will eventually and can only end in heartbreak or can slowly damage your Emaan. If not everyone but many of us fall prey to this we attach ourselves to something or to someone and eventually when it all comes crashing down we ask ourselves what if? What if we didn’t do that? What if we didn’t follow our desires? Well “if” is only from shaitaan and “if” we keep asking those questions it means that our Yaqeen in Allah (SWT) is not strong enough. Many of my mistakes were either my Yaqeen was not stong enough and therefore my intentions were not pure enough and if both of those aspects are flawed then we have a serious problem but with that said nothing is lost and that is the greatness of Allah (SWT) he gives us the ability everyday to renew ourselves in finding refuge in him, to have coolness in our eyes to weep in front of him with full conviction and pure love for him that eventually will make our Emaan strong once again.

And so began my spiritual journey. I always believe that if you are spiritually balanced then everything else in your life will be balanced. I started wearing Hijaab permanently from wearing it only part time and that was a change even though i grew up with strong values and morals and a strong Islamic background every now and then we stray because we are human and Allah (SWT) never made us perfect we are indeed children of Adam (AS). Allah made us with feeling he made us in the best possible way and he also gave us understanding we have been given a privilege to make our own choices but ultimately it is Allah (SWT) who decides anything in our lives though baring in mind that we all have to earn and work in this Dunya but in the way that it leads us to the Akhirah. When I began my spiritual journey i did not understand much i knew the basics but as i went through the years i understood my purpose i understood that everything we do in this life should be for the sake of Allah (SWT). Coming back to the point where i started wearing Hijaab to some people it may be a challenge and Alhamdulillah for those who have started wearing it the beauty of wearing Hijaab is truly tremendous. Hijaab protects us, protects our modesty and protects us from this western world. Every daughter is told by their mother or even their grandmother that they have to wear Hijaab but how many of us actually listen, it is our human nature that tells us and pushes us away when someone tells us to do something and even when we know that it is good for us sometimes we need a greater push and sometimes it comes in a bad form but rather that than doing it because someone says you must as said before Allah guides those whom he wants and when the time is right  but once we decide to wear the Hijaab and i speak firmly for all those Muslimahs who have made the choice to wear it permanently and to those who are struggling, wearing your Hijaab for the sake of Allah is better than wearing it for the sake of people because on the day of Qiyyamah it is only your deeds that will get you into Jannah (heaven) not the people. Hijaab is not just about covering yourself it is about strengthening your Emaan we as women are given this great gift from Allah (SWT) not to oppress us but to protect us, if we look at the western world who criticize us and tell us that we are oppressed we should smile and remember that other women may not have this great gift, may not have this protection and that alone should make us content with the Law of Allah that says that we should cover ourselves because it is part of our Awrah as well.

Hijaab is only part of my spiritual journey. I use to neglect my Nemaaz i hardly woke up for Fajr and i never made Nemaaz on time and i even missed a few every now and  then but Allah (SWT) guided me in just the right time and so i began to renew myself, my uncle always used to say that you can never make up the Nemaaz that you have missed that could be true but Allah is forgiving though we should not be frivolous and just think that if we do something bad and we repent and ask forgiveness that it will just be accepted, rather when we ask forgiveness it should be from the heart, even if we can’t cry we should make a crying face and our repentance should be pure and we should stay away from that sin.  Nemaaz is very important it is how we connect with Allah (SWT), think about this if we have a house and we have a remote control garage do we not need to be in a certain radius in order to connect with the garage so that it can open indeed we do, so similar when we are making Nemaaz we need to be in a certain radius in order to connect with Allah. Nemaaz is also how we are able to speak to Allah through making dua and so each and every day when i made Nemaaz i kept this in mind because yes Nemaaz is important but sometimes people are mechanically in tuned to it because they know that it is a compulsory law of Allah and one of the 5 pillars of Islam, but if we have that attitude then our intention will be wrong and we will be doing it with only half of our heart. When we start to renew ourselves and we do it for the sake of Allah we will see the true beauty in it. Inshallah.

It was during Ramadan of 2009 that i realised what path i truly wanted to be on i remember sitting being asked what i wanted to do and immediately i said i would love to do Islamic studies and ever since then my heart was fully inclined toward that, but there were a few bumps in the road when you have a family who is very career orientated the obvious reaction would be so what will happen to your university degree i of cause try to fight it at every cost but i did not win and then i decided to return to university for my final year and there after i made an intention to do Islamic studies.

Where am i at now? Well through many many bumps, obstacles and challenges i am finally doing Islamic studies it may not be on a full time basis but i am doing what i can to attain something for sake of Allah. I have also started working for a Muslim charity organisation and Alhamdulillah i am very pleased and happy that i have been guided toward this, my heart has yearned to be able to help people to be able to do things for sake of Allah and to have so many great people in my life and also the support of my family who have also paved the way as to how i am today. I have read many Islamic books but i believe that you physically have to go out to seek knowledge in order to fully understand and Allah (SWT) says that we should constantly seek knowledge. And like my mother always tells me knowledge is power and now when i hear those words i believe the power you have is not to be greater than other people but to help other people because no one can have power for it is only Allah who has the greatest power.

To me my journey has only begun….and i am looking forward to everything that comes my way Inshallah.

Through Allah’s mercy and guidance everything is possible