Written by: Atiqa Mohsin
There are days when I feel that this war is hopeless. The war between Muslims and non-Muslims. They never listen to us and we will never listen to them. Sometimes I feel as if I’m standing in a box made of thick glass. They can neither hear what I say nor see what I do for my actions are blurry and confusing to them. My father always told me that it is our duty to tell non-Muslims about our religion and guide them through. But our duty stops at the point of informing them. We are not duty bound to force them to accept our religion or do as we say. They must choose our religion by their own choice and freedom, only then will they become true Muslims.
But it’s hard. Although I live in a country said to be Islamic, Dubai is a hotspot for tourists and it seems to me that there are more non-Muslims here than Muslims. And because of the false image portrayed by the media of our religion, nobody even wants to hear us out.
It was one of those days that I returned from school, sad and dismayed. Foreigners had come to our school for an inspection and they had left with the worst possible image of Islam. I sighed. It wasn’t my fault. There is nothing much an individual can do when it is the society that’s being judged.
It is at times like these that I find my Creator closest to me. After all, they do say that through hardships and trials, one becomes closer to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). As I stood for prayer on the Janamaz (prayer mat) I noticed something I had never noticed before. As in most cases, there was a picture of a beautiful mosque in the middle of the mat. But what was odd was that, at the center of the mosque, an orange ball was drawn as if to say that light was emanating from the mosque. I gazed at it longer and I found myself thinking sweet words of encouragement: Maybe this ray of light was Allah ta’ala’s way of telling me not to give up; to pursue the light, the Right Path. There was no way of knowing if I was right of wrong but by nature, I am not optimistic but a realist. And besides, sometimes, don’t you feel as if it is Allah ta’ala Himself who puts such thoughts in our heads?
When I finished offering salah the warm feeling spread throughout my entire body as if I was standing in the sun. But it wasn’t just warm, it was kind. You know, the warm fuzzy feeling you get when your mother hugs you in gratitude for doing a good job or when you give an abandoned cat food and know that it will live to see another day just because of you.
I learnt something else that day. No matter how hard or many the obstacles, you must never cease to try. Try and try again. Never give up your attempt to succeed because the moment you do is the real moment success leaves your side. One day, as Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has promised, Islam shall rule the world.