Religion is The very foundation of who we are. Both my husband and I were born into Muslim families. Our religion is Islam.
For a long time while I was growing up in New York I did not practice my religion. I wore the head scarf for a very short time growing up. The majority of my childhood as well as my teen years I have not worn a headscarf. I was not a complete devout Islamic woman.
I didn’t go to the Mosque to offer salah. I didn’t offer the 5 obligatory Salah each day. I didnt read the holy book. The Holy Quran. That didn’t mean that I was a horrible Muslim. I just didnt feel Gods calling in my heart.
My father-in-law began staying with us since March 2016. I remember this very clearly because I just gave birth to my daughter and my father-in-law came a week after that to stay with us.
My father-in-law has been a chronic smoker all his life. Over time he developed some serious heart conditions as well as some lung conditions that were a repairable.
He has been having complications on and off for several years. He didnt take his health conditions seriously. In 2019 we had to take him to get a heart operation. He had a full cardiac bypass and he was discharged. We figured he was on his way to recovery but that was not the case.
In October 2019 he had his heart operation. In December 2019 he had a brain stroke. Since that fateful day and every day hence for the next 7 months – We were going living and breathing at the ICU.
Every moment was excruciating. We felt like he was recovering but every time he showed signs on improvement- he would go back 2 steps. It was devastating to witness.
My Father-in-law was a fighter. He battled so hard against all odds to live. He was a man who loved life. He was devoted to family. He was a social butterfly. He had such charisma and there was always a sparkle in his eye.
He battled with life and death on his hospital bed as we watched helpless. Everything was in God hands.
This was the beginning to a very tragic end. We watched someone we loved unconditionally wilt away right before our eyes. This was the first time I’ve brushed with death.
We were witnessing God’s work. God took back what was his. We sat there with the husk of a great man – for what seemed like hours – The hospital room was calm. The sun pouring through the window – the sky was bright blue and clear.
Our hearts and minds at a stand still. My husband – this brave beautiful man – just lost his father. He was so calm. We sat and held each others hands as we basked in the sun pouring through the hospital windows. Only a few feet away lay his deceased Father.
We reflect on how peaceful he slept. We reflected on the hard life he had and the man he became due to his struggles. We reflected on how much he adored his Grandchildren.
This man who God has taken away from us. We didnt feel contempt towards God or how utterly unfair the whole situation was.
With my Father-in-law’s passing – a new beginning began to take root in my soul. I was searching for someone to talk to since I used to talk to my Father-in-law about everything.
I was lost. I had to be strong for my children and my husband. I needed my friend back which was crazy I know! I needed guidance.
As the Imaam was praying in the Mosque – I didnt know what dua (Prayer) to recite. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was ashamed to sit in Gods house and not be able to pray for someone I loved.
It was a very startling realization! All of a sudden pandora box was opened in my mind. I had overwhelming myself with questioning my life choices.
What am I doing?
What am I running after?
What am I going to say to God when I have to face him?
What am I teaching my children?
Believe me .. That was just a few of my questions. I sat in the mosque with my baby girl on my lap, hugging her tight. The lights were dimmed and the Imaam continued his prayer for my deceased Father-in-law.
I was beyond overwhelmed with the beautiful way the Imaam prayed. I was crying for Peace for my Father-in-law’s soul, I was crying for myself.
As we laid him down to rest in the ground – I just wanted to crawl right in there with him and hold him. As I was putting a fist full of soil into his grave –
Somewhere deep down I could feel that my Father-in-law would be fine. He will always be with me and with us.
That moment as we stood on the precipice of Life and Death – I found my friend.
God was speaking to me 🙏
From this monumental day back in July 2019 – I put on the head scarf and started to pray 5 times a day obligatory Salah.
I haven’t looked back since. I have always had it in my heart to be a good pious muslim women. Inshallah! With Gods guidance and love ❤