Growing Up in Fear


By Najoa Bouzidi from Dallas
Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Abu Huraira reported, “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘If Allah wants to do good to a person, He afflicts them with trials.’” (Sahih Bukhari)

The pains we endure…how we wish they would *poof*, disappear. We hope that this Presidency would hurry up and disappear, along with all the followers it has riled up. We simply wish that our jobs be secure, our families stay together and our freedoms remain protected.

Imagine this: tomorrow, whatever worries we’re having now, just disappear. Back to regular school days, work weeks, staying in our bubble etc. Where, then, will your supplication go? Will it be as fervent as it was when you were afraid? As our dear teacher Sheikh Omar Suleiman reminds us here in Dallas, we must learn to worship Allah because He is worthy of worship, and not merely because we need Him right now.

Growing up, I feared for my stability constantly. Due to circumstances that I am not yet ready to disclose, my family and I feared that we might have to return to our home country. My father, due to the political turmoil of the 1990s, had to flee our home country of Algeria. However, our life in America was seemed like it could end on any given day. From my toddler years, up until this very day, I never knew how much longer I could call America my home.

Returning meant that my father would be jailed indefinitely, and my family left without ways to be supported. As a child, I was familiar with the feelings of instability that so many Muslims are now facing. I have been bracing myself for the worst outcomes since I was a toddler. I painted pictures, preparing myself for displacement, isolation, finding ways to get food, searching for a new home, etc.

By the mercy of God, I was lucky. I went to school here. I got jobs. I fell in love with English literature, with history, with my communities. This ongoing battle taught me immense lessons about Allah:

  1. Allah is My Main Friend

    The only constant friend in our life is Allah. Ask of him, rely on Him and He will be there for you every step of your life. Remember that He is on your side. The only reason you are being guided is because of His love and mercy. He will not forsake you, so long as you keep seeking His pleasure and forgiveness.

  2. This is All His Earth

    Even the Prophet faced “visa” issues when he lost his protection from his uncle, Abu Talib. He had to ask other tribes for a “visa” (adoption), which led him to rejection after rejection. This was when Ta’if happened, and we know that in a hadith narrated by Aisha, that this was the worst moment in his life. Yet this displacement issue is what led him meet excellent people in a small town called Yathrib, now Madinah. This small, seemingly unimpressive tribe is truly where our Ummah began to grow. They brought Islam to the rest of the world from Madinah. Never underestimate what Allah has in store for you on His Earth.

  3. It’s Okay to Love Your Home

    As soon as he could, the Prophet returned to Makkah. It never left his heart. Memories of his beloved Khadija are there, and of his dear uncle Abu Talib, his family members, his childhood, etc. Your people do not have to be Muslim in order for you to love them.

  4. Worship, worship, worship

    The only way toward success—true success, is through your relationship with Allah. Read His Book. Spend alone time reflecting on Him and His creation. Reflect on your life, and His hand in your life. Learn about His beloved Prophet. Learn from the Prophet, relate to his life. Attend a halaqah to build your knowledge and take notes.

These are the reminders I keep giving myself. So remember, we don’t worship our pains. We are not enslaved to our tests. No. Our place in this world is far more valuable. You and I are lucky enough to get the chance to be enslaved to Allah. The truth is that we do need our Lord. These trials have a purpose. They’re the means to the end. Through these tests, we will find ourselves thrown into deeper duas, staying longer in sujood and attending more circles of reflection. They are the way that we will earn His pleasure, if we respond in a way which He loves.

The true Jannah on Earth is having Allah in one’s heart, and that is better than having an easy life.



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