Islam teaches us that we were all born good and pure, because when we are faced with a decision, we seem to have this ability to know what we should and shouldn't do. And by consciously changing ourselves such that we 'naturally' do things for the sake of Allah... That is the ideal state of being.
As Muslims, we are always told to see difficult events in our lives as tests from God. He gives us these tests because He knows we are capable of overcoming it, and in turn, become closer in our journey to Him. And we should NEVER ever get angry with Him or cry "Why, God? Why did You do this to me?" because that insults the Plan that He has for us.
Around sometime last year, I backbit someone, thinking it was the right and 'moral' thing to do. But ever since knowing that backbiting and slandering is a major sin in Islam, how do I distinguish what to say (being truthful) from what not to (slandering and backbiting)?
If I were still a kid, looking at my life superficially, I'd question, "Why do I have to study? I just have to pray every day, and that would make Allah happy." Because I'd see my formal education as an entity that is completely different from what I know as to how to worship God. But could excelling in design, math, science, engineering, psychology and so on... worship God?
Many non-Muslims may be prone to thinking that Islam is strict with many rules, because we Muslims are so easily insulted, with an "everything-is-not-allowed-until-said" attitude. The challenge is to learn to distinguish the issues which, according to Islam, are haram, and to be firm, whilst at the same time not overdoing and make it seem as if everything is haram.
Being Singaporean, complaining about anything and everything was part of my second nature. But I've since learnt that as much as it's easy to thank Him for the blessings and good things he has put in my life, I should thank Him for all the trials too.
When I was a Catholic, fasting was akin to suffering (in remembrance of Jesus (Isa) A.S suffering for our sins), but Ramadan taught me that fasting is not about suffering at all, but about enabling us to enter into the state of being that is most apt to worship God.
It's been about 5 weeks since I reverted to Islam, and since then, I have been trying to adapt to my new lifestyle: food, prayers and clothing. These small things can help me grow to work on my personal willpower for bigger things, which I know I can be weak in.
Sickness makes you realise how weak you are, and that you're not in control of your life. It makes you realise that only God is the one in control, so you pray to Him with the most sincere of heart. Sickness stops you in your tracks, asking you if you remembered God in your life.
I was invited to join a Facebook page, a ‘support group for Muslim converts’ a few weeks after my conversion. Those in it seemed so articulate and knowledgeable! But I didn't know that this was a dangerous way to breed one’s own version of Islam based on questioning anything that came in the way of catering to one's nafs. How could I, a new, fresh, -gullible!- muslim convert?
Gifts are meant to be temporary, yet, we treat them as if they are eternally bound to us. Guard our heart, because what is deserving of our endless thoughts and our expectations is the only One who isn’t temporary: the Gift-Giver.