Well here it is my very first Eid and guess where I sit? At home instead of at Eid prayers. Today here in Nova Scotia we are having very bad weather. All the schools are closed as is our local community college. We got just enough snow to cause problems, what is worse though in the gusting winds that run up to 8o km an hr.
So what are we going to do this first Eid. Well my dear daughter has opened her Eid present. I got her a board game, so maybe we will play that. My daughter will probably wear her new abaya around the house and I’m wearing a new scarf. For food lets see I think I will make up some of my daughters favorites…all Canadian of course.
I am feelig a bit disappointed because I was so looking forward to praying in congregation. I really wanted to feel apart of this Muslim community to which I now belong. So here I sit instead, perhaps I will go and visit some blogs this morning so I can feel the spirit of Islam that I can find here online.
Last night my daughter who is 11 came home last night and told me that her teacher introduced a book in class as there next major chapter book to be read as a class. The book follows the life of one young Muslim girl in Afghanistan. So Rachel shared with her class that we are Muslim, she also said she would bring things from home that Muslims use. So she came to me and asked me if she could bring my prayer rug ( I only have one.) and a couple of my different style hijabs. I said yes.
So this morning she asked if she could wear her hijab to school. This is a first! My daughter likes hijab but was fearful of wearing it to school. She is only Muslim female student in town. So today when she asked I was quick to say Yes. So she picked her pink hijab and wore it to school. I was so proud!
She came home from lunch to tell me her morning had gone well. She had a chance to show the class how one would use a prayer rug, what wudu is, and why a Muslim woman wears hijab. She said her classmates were very interested.
Tonight I got a call from her teacher telling me that my dear daughter had done an amazing job and brought what it was like to be a muslim child to life for her class. She asked if I could send in any more resources about Islam that I thought the class would enjoy. I said I would if I could think of things that would benefit them. So if you had a chance to share Islam with a group of 10 and 11 year olds what would you share?
For me I am so proud of my daughter as a new muslimah that she shared her faith with her class. Oh and as this book will take them all through the month of November and Early Dec, the teacher wants Rachel to teach about Eid (something Rachel has yet to celebrate herself yet) so I guess I better get looking for resources on teaching her about the upcoming Eid.
Here last night I ended up walking home in the rain. I left work about 30 minutes late as I took a customer’s call just before I was supposed to leave and guess what? It was the longest call of the day. As I walked home I couldn’t help but think of the rain and how hard the day had been and it really had been.
Then I was drawn to thoughts of how Allah prepares us for rain storms. Whether it is simply a bad day, with the daily storms that can come such as long calls, harsh customers, a child who isn’t doing what you thought they would be, all of those little storms Allah prepares us for. My faith teaches me patience and turning to Him in prayer. I tend to do this alot when I am getting discouraged with the daily grind. My faith also teaches me to look for the good in the rain, and I can usually find something good in each moment no matter how hard like learning something new or that I can use in the future.
Then there are the bigger storms that come, like after I got home I could here the winds pick up, I could hear the rain harshly beating on my windows. I can look out this morning and see damage from this rain storm, and then I thought sometimes in our lives the storms do come. For me the major storms in my life have been the loss of all my material possessions in a fire, the destruction of a home in a hurricane, a cancer scare, the diagnosis of a daughter with a learning disability, and the death of family members. These are all storms that come. How we deal with these rain storms vary. For me these are the times that I find faith becomes more important to me. I find this is when I am in prayer more, this is when I find myself looking for the little good things, and being thankful for them.
For me I know that we need the storms, they help us grow as humans and each has its purpose just as each drop of rain provides life in the Eco system. For all the storms that come may I say Thank you Allah, for in them we can find good if we but look.
After one says there shadada there is so very much to learn. When you are new to Islam I often wonder if others feel like me, a bit overwhelmed. Here I find myself Muslim for a bit now and find it hard to learn my deen. Because I live in rural Nova Scotia I am at a loss and I have no mentors, no one really teaching me. I must teach myself and figure things out for myself. So how does this sister learn?
1) I am thankful to the wonderful videos on you tube that teach the prayers of Islam, this helps me learn them.
2) I read and read some more, and listen. I find myself online alot reading about Islam from Islamic teachers, and in forums, but then you get so many different takes on what the hadith and Quran are saying.
3) I read the Quran even if it is in English and try and learn more for myself
4) I pray that Allah who put me on this path will guide me.
5) I read several blogs that too share what Muslim life is about.
so even here in rural Canada it is possible to learn my deen it is just harder and you must really work for it.
Wow! In just a few days I will be doing my very first fast as a Muslim sister! Wow! I am excited and nervous but I do know Allah will help me and give me strength. So what have I and my daughter been doing to prepare? Well I want us to learn together what it is so I have been reading much and my daughter is happy because she gets to decorate but that will have to wait till after we move, which is Monday!
What are my goals for Ramadam:
1. To fast each day that I can ( I know I will miss 5 but I can do it every other day)
2. I can do extra dua( prayer every day)
3. I will read the Quran every day that I can.
4. Learn the Salat better.
How am I preparing? I’m trying to get my body ready with less sugars and junk, I am reading and learning as much as I can about this holy month, and I’m talking to friends of mine about this holy month. I wish each of you a very good Ramadam one that is full of blessings.