For quite a while, I felt isolated from everything. I also experienced some sort of abandonment, which I found incredibly difficult to digest, forgive and move on. As a result, I regularly prayed and asked God to open my heart and allow me to feel belonging to something again. Alhamdulilah I think Allah has granted me what I’ve been asking, as I can finally say that the sense of isolation has vanished.
There are new people in my life; there are also old friends I reconnect after a long time, all of whom make me realise how blessed I am to be able to love, care and trust someone. More importantly, I have also been able to attend weekly discussions, where I share thoughts and glorify Allah with other sisters. It reminds me of how amazing it is to be a part of a community, to praise and worship God together. It makes me see clearly that Islam is not a religion of individualism, but of mutual assistance, sisterhood and brotherhood.
In “The Duties of Brotherhood in Islam”, Al Ghazali advises the Muslims:
you should use your tongue to express affection to your brother, and to enquire about his circumstances. Praising him for the good qualities you know him to possess, in the presence of one before whom he would choose to be praised”. (p. 37)
Thus, in this letter, I want to do just that.
- To Maryam, the friend who is always there for me in both difficult and happy times. You have always amazed me with your compassion, generosity and and gentleness. Even when you are incredibly busy with your baby, you always make sure I’m okay. You’re the one I can tell everything without fear of judgement, the one that always reminds me of my duties as a Muslim, and the one that I seek assistance and support. I thank Allah for giving me a sister like you, and I pray to Him that we will be sisters forever.
- To Maryam, the sister that I met last year. Although we have only known each other for around one year, I feel like I have known your for a very long time. Your perceptiveness, patience and your commitment to your faith has inspired me. Thank you for putting up with me and for always being there with love and support.
- To Nilufer, my high school friend whose presence always lifts up the atmosphere. Your intelligence, eloquence and creativity makes you the person I seek advice for creative projects. Thank you for always listening to my crazy ideas, reading my scripts, giving honest feedback and helping me whenever you can. May Allah give you a lot of blessings.
- To Sumaiya, the intelligent, strong and kind-hearted girl. Although you are younger than me, you are much more mature, considerate and open-minded, and I know I have to learn a lot from you. I feel incredibly grateful that you keep in touch with me and remember me when there is something interesting going on. Sumaiya, may Allah protect your purity and grant you whatever you need and is good for you.