A few days ago I found out a dear friend received accreditation for Hajj (pilgrimage to Makkah). There were two snags though, one being that she had a cash flow problem and the second was that she needed to delink her ex-husband from her initial application. This caused a problem because she needed a mahram (someone one cannot marry) to journey with her. We rallied behind her ofcourse, thinking of ideas to raise the funds and the second option was to take her father and this posed another problem, he needed funds as well. Then, 2 days later, someone generously sponsors her, and this ofcourse elates her after having made peace with the fact that she might not be going this year.
So, I am sitting with her after she receives the wonderful news, and she explains how she is not sure what to make of everything other than knowing, “Allah is Great!”In the meantime, I can’t help sitting there and feeling a pang of jealousy. I was one of those moments that make one question why I haven’t made that same preparation and why have I not longed for it yet. I sat there, in awe of an inspiring woman. I am an Islamic studies and facilitator to workshops that encourages embodying one’s being into complete submission and now here I am, jealous of another’s heart and faith. I sat there asking myself, “Who have I become?” and “What have I become attached to?”
I reach home after a devastating shock to my core that I need to assess my heart and just two weeks away from my yearly introspection and evaluation of years gone by. In deep thought, I think back to the sessions I have with Muslim youth, relating the need to make a daring decision and that is to live for Allah. Facilitating the processes with them to think of the positive changes and how they will achieve them and making them understand that tomorrow is never guaranteed and in closing I would add, IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN? We are guilty of this misconceived notion that I can do it tomorrow.
We live and work furiously trying to fix the outside. Whether this is our bodies, car, homes or clothing, but what we really need is to focus on fixing what lies in the heart.
Here I am, asking myself what I was working on that made me lose focus! What have I chosen above my Creator, that it drew my attention away from desiring that very pilgrimage this dearest woman aspired to? I am here now, faithful to this desire to change and fix a tainted heart, because now I find myself asking, “IF NOT NOW, THEN WHEN?!?”