Personal Journey


As a child, I learned short suwar at either the hand of my mother, or by listening to my father while he led us in prayer. There weren’t many Quraan teachers or Tahfeeth schools back then, so most of our Deeni studies came by way of mom (afaa Allaahu ‘anhaa). It’s not that we were a religious, studios family; however, I think my mother tried to give us the best of what she had to offer despite our often-times rough circumstances. I remember having to write out and recite the ‘Arabic Alphabet. It was not all that important to me at the time but it made mom happy when we did well in our studies.

She was stern with my older brothers. One of them in particular  – may Allaah grant him success in his studies, aameen – often relays memories of her writing out lessons on the blackboard and if they failed to memorize their lessons, or acted up in class, they were “rewarded.” He said that we had it easy as girls.

Years down the line, a local masjid opened a madrasah for children. Although I was too old to attend (I believe I was in the 4th grade by then), I’d visit the school as my mom was a Pre-K teacher’s aide and I found myself fascinated with the fact that the children were learning ‘Arabic words and other things pertinent to Islaam. My youngest sister would gallop around the house singing over and over again; “…giddy-up giddy-up hisaan.” I ask her what hisaan meant, and she said; “horse!” I was amazed and a bit jealous that she was able to express herself in another language. I had ghibtah, not hasad – there’s a big difference between the two. I was intrigued. I wanted to know more, so I asked her what else she had learned. I can’t remember anything from her vocabulary list, but I do recall thinking that it was pretty neat for a little kid to be able to do that. Years passed and so did the urge to learn ‘Arabic.

I’m a tweener now, got my own mind, doing my own thing. I’m still a Muslimah at heart, but that was about it. I’d still recite al Faatihah, the ‘Arabic Alphabet, religious words and phrases to myself to make sure that I still “had it” because I was sure that I’d be ready to practice Islaam wholeheartedly at the ripe age of 40. And besides, I know that Allaah is my Lord, Muhammad is my Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and Islaam is my religion and every Muslim is going to heaven anyways, so “what’s the big deal?!”

{Rabbighfirlee wa liwaalidayya.}

My mother tried to get us to attend ‘Arabic and Quraan classes at the masjid. We were not interested but went anyway. I honestly felt good while I was there, but after walking out of class, the feeling left. I know now that it was my eemaan increasing and decreasing.

Fast forward to my early twenties. My mother was edging on closer and closer to the Sunnah of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam). She had a few books lying around, one of them being Saheeh Muslim Vol. #4. I felt compelled to read it, so she allowed me to take it home. It had an ancient look. The cover was burgundy, its pages were yellow. I opened it up and began reading about Jahannam, its food, drinks, inhabitants, the tree of Zaqqoom, etc. I said, “Whoa, the disbelievers are in great trouble.” {I still had it in my mind that only the Kuffaar will enter the Fire which is a misunderstanding. – May Allaah protect us from it, aameen.}

I went on to read about Jannah, its beauty, food, drinks, jewelry, streets of gold, etc. and cried like a baby. I remember saying; “I want to see this place,” thus my journey began…

To be continued, In Shaa Allaah.

 O Allaah!  Do not take me to task for what they are saying about me.
And (O Lord) make me better than they think.  
Forgive my sins which they do not know about.
  1. #1 by Umm Basil on September 12, 2010 - 3:45 PM

    As salaamu alaikum warahmatulahi wabarakatu

    Oh I can’t wait to read more insha Allah. I didn’t know that you remembered that old Hadeeth book…maa sha Allah. Your writing has touched my heart so deeply. May Allah reward you for all the good that you say and do, ameen. Please continue writing and may Allahu ta’ala help you, ameen.

  2. #2 by A Weight Word on September 13, 2010 - 9:32 AM

    Wa ‘alaikis salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Yes, I remember it well. I’ve been meaning to narrate this for a long time now. Oftentimes I am at a loss for words or my thoughts are all over the place. I’ll post part 2 soon In Shaa Allaah. Aameen to your du’aa.

    Jazaakillaahu khairal jazaa.

    BTW, where are your memoirs?

  3. #3 by Umm Fatimah on September 21, 2010 - 6:30 PM

    As salaam alaykum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatu.

    Ma shaa Allah, what your mom did with you was so great… May Allah aza wa jal reward her…Jazaki Allah khayrn for sharing your personal story

  4. #4 by UmmSalsabeel on September 23, 2010 - 5:09 AM

    asSalaamu ‘Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Baarakaatuhu!

    you are a born muslimah?
    maa shaa’ Allah!

    please continue the story!
    do you still have the hadeeth collection?

  5. #5 by A Weight Word on September 23, 2010 - 7:01 AM

    Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

    Umm Fatimah – Aameen wa iyyaaki. Na’am, I appreciate her efforts and your du’aa for her. I hope to leave a good impression on my own In Shaa Allaah.

    Umm Salsabeel – Yes, Alhamdulillaah. My parents reverted in the 70’s, a lil bit before I came along. It’s amazing to look back at Islaam in America then in comparison to now.

    The collection belonged to my mother. I believe it’s with her still, Allaahu Aa’lam.

  6. #6 by Ukhti on October 7, 2010 - 2:52 PM

    May Allah reward your Mother and all our Mothers Ameen!

    And I can’t wait for part 2!!

  7. #7 by A Weighty Word on November 3, 2010 - 6:52 PM

    Aameen!

    It’s coming bi idhnillaahi Ta’aalaa.

  8. #8 by Umm Basil on November 18, 2010 - 11:40 AM

    As salaamu alaiki dear daughter. First, I’d like to thank Allah for the nice comments sent by the sisters to you and me and may He ta’ala reward you all for them, ameen. I made a comment when I first read your journey Haneefah a little while ago, but reading it again made me say aloud “Shukrun Allah.” You remembered a lot. I really don’t know where the Hadeeth Vol.#4 came from, but I’m thinking maybe it belonged to your father (Allahu alim). I didn’t know that you were reading it, alhamdulilah. I was busy most of the time with the babies and chores (smile). You were the quiet one, always pondering over something, always looking for the definition of words, always asking questions, etc., etc., etc. You were on your own journey then and Allah knew that. So continue on and may He ta’ala with His Supreme Knowledge and Wisdom guide you and bless you with His Tawfeeq, ameen.
    Love, Umm

  9. #9 by A Weighty Word on November 20, 2010 - 7:48 PM

    Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh.

    Baarakallaah ‘alaiki. How sweet Umm :) I pray this is not only a sadaqah jaariyah for myself but for you as well.

    Allaahumma aameen.

  10. #10 by Khadija on November 27, 2010 - 10:17 PM

    Assalaamu alaikum,

    BarakAllahu feekum,
    I am touched by your story. May Allah reward you with good for your efforts. Ameen.

  11. #11 by A Weighty Word on December 7, 2010 - 2:44 PM

    Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Allaahumma aameen.

    Wa feeki baarakallaahu dear ukhtee.

  12. #12 by UmmDawud on March 14, 2011 - 12:14 AM

    As salaamu alaikum warahmatulahi wabarakatu,

    Masha Allah, What nice memories you have and to see your mom responding has put such a smile on my face. Keif halik ukhti, insha’Allah all is well with you and your family. Can’t wait to read part 2 insha’Allah.

    Ma salaam,
    Umm Dawud (from London, ON)

  13. #13 by A Weighty Word on March 15, 2011 - 3:27 AM

    Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. We are well. I appreciate your concern. How’s your family? Jazaakillaahu khairal jazaa for such a sweet comment.

  14. #14 by Juwariyah- Umm Samyrah on March 20, 2012 - 4:46 PM

    As Salaamu alayki

    wow uhktee we have so much in common.

    Really your story sounds very similar to mine, I too born muslimah wal hamdulillah both my parents mashallah reverted back in the 70s as well mashallah My father passed alhamdulillah protecting his family from a crazy man acting my co mom (he had more than one wife alhamdulillah) He passed upon the sunna Allahu akbar (May Allah bless him with a spacious grave and jenna ferdous ameen Allahuma ameen)

    We had belonged to a Muslim community in Philly (Once called Fuqrah Jumat/now called Muslims of The America) (no Ido not belong to them anymore alhamdulillah for obvious reasons but they where and still many of them are my muslim family as we grew a community for years) and that spread over over America by time I was a teenager.

    I never knew what life was like out side of Islam due to our close community family whom was protecting us from the out side world, so we where very sheltered until I was about 14 years old mashallah,

    That is around the time I was like you here and there but always in the back of my mind I knew who my lord is and my beloved prophet and what I believed in,

    But I too put it back in my head…Until “I said when -i get married and become a mom, then is when “I” thought Id be ready to fully practice LOL Alhamdulillah it came before that mashallah.

    But Before all that I was the quite one as well always contemplating and asking serious questions about life as a child. I remember My mom would always say to me (after me asking her about many spiritual things) go to the book shelf and read, (Riyad Al Saleheen, Muslim, Bukhari and Sunna Dawud, most remembered books in my life always on the shelf mashallah ta barakallah),… She would then say “do not ever rely on others to teach you your religion, learn it your self that will protect you, Mashallah”… those words really stuck and I am glad as we live in a time where we really cannot take from many.

    Allahuma baarak for Allah blessing us to be brought up upon this beautiful religion. Ameen. There is many more i can go on about my story. BUT wow you are inspiring me to write my own story as well inshallah its a thought that i might put into action allahu alim.

    Plz keep up the good work and plz update with part too inshallah (plz excuse if you already have) :) ♥

    Baarakaallahu feeki for the good read looking forward to more inshallah.

    Salaamu alaykum

    Umm Samyrah wa Juwariyah bint Asim Abdullah

  15. #15 by Admin on March 25, 2012 - 11:19 AM

    Wa ‘alaikumus salaam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh. Yes, we do have a lot in common. Send me a link to your memoirs once you begin blogging. I’d love to read them In Shaa Allaah.

    May Allaah have mercy upon your father for he died while protecting his family and may He Ta’aalaa reward your mom for teaching you to seek proofs, aameen.

    Wa feeki baarakallaah dear sister.

  16. #16 by Umm on April 3, 2012 - 5:00 AM

    Beautiful! I appreciate you sharing this with us. I am forever grateful that my parents reverted and taught us the deen to the best of their abilities, so that we can teach our children, and they can pass down the legacy as well Bi’ithnillah. My Parents have now passed away. May Allah reward them with Jannah, ameen.

    Baarakallahu Feeki!

  17. #17 by Admin on June 4, 2012 - 9:01 PM

    Wa feeki baarakallaah. What a blessing. Na’am, may Allaah have mercy upon your parents, forgive them and grant them Jannah, aameen.

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