“I myself am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”
― Augusten Burroughs,
― Augusten Burroughs,
Let me be the one to declare that I have flaws. In fact, I am riddled with flaws. When I discovered that I was completely clueless about the religion I was born into, Islam, that is when I realized, my cluelessness was my biggest flaw. So, I set out trying to rectify my flaw. Don’t get me wrong. I am not completely evil. I have some good traits but that is not the topic of conversation for today.
I hunted high and low, looking for someone to help me rectify my flaw and make myself worthy to be declared as ‘Muslim’, until finally I met the Wise Old man and the Wise Owl. Come to think of it, I should actually thank God for my flaws, otherwise, I would not be searching for Islam. If I had thought that I was a perfect Muslim, I would have been contented with the meager knowledge that I possessed then.
The Old Wise man would always tell me that the world is just like an amusement park. You would find a lot of glittery and shiny gadgets and gizmos that, attracts you and distracts you. The real test is trying to disconnect yourself from the glittery worldly things. He told me to sit down and think real hard. Hhhmm…not quite the guidance I was looking for! I was hoping for a more straightforward answer like, ‘do this’ or ‘do that’; but that how the Wise Owl man teaches me. He makes me think.
So I thought hard. One of the first things that I realized what that I have always been trying to be please human but not God. So I made a mental note, the next time I perform my salat, I will not put on my raggedly looking prayer dress, that has seen better days, (just because no one is around!) but instead to wear the best prayer clothes that I have. I will make sure that I smell divine and not like a sweaty mule. I will prepare myself with the outmost care, like I’m meeting my lover, After all I am meeting my Creator, my most beloved.
“Someone once approached the Prophet (peace be upon him) and asked: “What if someone likes that his clothing and his shoes are beautiful?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied: “Allah loves to see the affects of His grace upon His servant.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhī (2819)]
I also made a promise to myself, to ask God for help every time I am need of aid. I must not put my expectations on another human because he or she might not be able to assist me or might even disappoint me. Only God Al Mighty can ease my worries and woes and will provide me with a solution, In Shaa Allah.
“And your Lord said: "Invoke Me, [i.e. believe in My Oneness (Islamic Monotheism)] (and ask Me for anything) I will respond to your (invocation).”
Surah Ghafir 40:60
I must also think well of God. If calamity falls upon me, I must not think that God is punishing me or that God does not love me but instead I must strive to accept my fate and believe that God have my best interest at Heart. God is never cruel. It is us who sometimes create trouble for ourselves.
“Verily, with the hardship, there is relief”
Surah Ash-Sharh 94:6
“and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.”
Surah Al Baqarah 2:216
I want to accept God’s Commandments more freely and without question. When God commands, I don’t have an option on whether to follow or to leave it. I must not give excuses and complaint but instead embrace it and follow religiously. I remember when I found out that feet is part of awrah that I must cover, I gave 101 reasons and excuses to the Wise Owl as to why I can’t wear sock. The truth was that I just didn’t like to cover my feet. I hate sweaty feet but it is not about what I like but rather it is whether I want to obey or not. Simple as that!
“Verily, His Command, when He intends a thing, is only that He says to it, "Be!" and it is!”
Surah Yassin 36:82
I must study about my beloved Prophet Muhammad SAW. I must know about his life, family, personal traits and character. I can’t call myself one of his ummah if I do not know anything about him. I must learn about his teachings and follow. Prophet Muhammad SAW is Islam and if I don’t follow him, I should not call myself a Muslim.
“Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad SAW) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much”
Surah Al Ahzab 33:21
“Say (O Muhammad SAW to mankind): "If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur'an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful."
Surah Al Imran 3:31
“O you who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) and render not vain your deeds”
Surah Muhammad 47:33
I must also remind myself that I am to look good for my husband and not other people. I should dress up for him when I am at home instead of dressing up for other when I go out. The whole purpose is, to impress him not others. I must not wear my old smelly university t-shirt at home, no matter how comfortable it is. I must smell nice and not smell, like rotten onion! Believe it or not, this is actually the recipe for a wonderful marriage. Does it work? Err….I’m still trying…like I said earlier, I have flaws!!!! Focus people, focus!
Rasulullah said: "The best of women is one that pleases her husband when he glances at her; obeys him when he commands her and does not oppose him and displease him in matters regarding her body and wealth."
Actually, it would seem like a mammoth task to achieve all of my so-called ‘resolution’ but it is not impossible. I have started but I have not achieved my target yet. I find that certain things in my life changed tremendously for the better, when I started on my resolution. To tell you honestly, changing is easy but keeping to the change is the difficult part. Nevertheless, try I must. The Wise Owl man’s favorite phrase is ’mind over matters’. My task now is, coaxing my mind to stay on matters! So, my fellow brothers and sisters, wish me luck cos I am really gonna need it…