Letter to my younger sister in Islam, By S N Smith, Ottawa


Letter to my younger sister in Islam, By S N Smith, Ottawa

Dear sister,
I cannot even pretend to know and understand what you are going through. But what you have told me is heart-wrenching and I feel sad over what you have had to endure. I ask Allah to make things easy for you and that all works out for your ultimate benefit and that Allah will be pleased with you.

You must know, as I am sure you already do, that Allah allows things to happen in our lives which are for our own good, even when we don’t like it. But we cannot always see this for our vision is clouded and our understanding is only partial. By way of some consolation and encouragement, I invite you to read the following eight articles I have penned in the past:

Also, I invite you to listen to the inspiring lecture Confronting Your Problems – a Khutbah by Sheikh Waleed Basyouni.

I wrote these various articles because I too have had to endure some very difficult circumstances and I was in need of consolation. Otherwise, I would have gone mad.
Know, dear sister, there is nothing in the life of the believer that does not happen for a reason. We may not always know what that reason is or the wisdom behind it, but we have to put our faith and trust in Allah that all will unfold as He has decreed. And in fact, nothing happens unless Allah decrees it to happen. When you come to a greater and deeper understanding of what that means for you personally, you will find yourself at greater peace. 
Everything your parents taught you regarding your faith, as well as everything you have encountered in the past, has prepared you for this moment in your life, but you may not realize this yet. This is a call for you to reflect on this reality.
You must have faith that Allah is going to help and sustain you as long as you hold unto His rope and not lose hope.  As I wrote in a previous article:

For we believers, hope in Allah is all that we have for beyond that there is nothing but utter despair. And when we fall into despair we simply give up. And when we give up we are basically saying that we are beyond redemption and that Allah will never forgive or save us. Such a mentality does not belong in the vocabulary of the believer. In fact, despair of Allah’s mercy is a sin that we must avoid at all costs and it is the one trap our avowed enemy — shaytaan — seeks to lure us into, for despair will make us stop calling on Allah for mercy, and we are all in need of Allah’s mercy.

I advise you, dear sister, to not only focus on your own suffering, for doing so can lead to a lot of harm to yourself. Try to see the suffering and trials of those around you — the poor, the sick, the economically disadvantaged, those who have suffered great loss etc — as a way of reminding yourself that Allah has spared you from many things.

I cannot guarantee that things will work out the way you want them to, even as things did not work out for me the way I wanted. But perhaps Allah is allowing you to go through these things to teach you an important lesson. And perhaps someday you will be in a position to console others who are passing through their own trials even as I am seeking to console you now.

Reflect upon what the prophets and earlier believers had to endure, and because of what they went through we are now enjoying the fruits of their efforts and learning from their noble example. Likewise, you may be in a position to teach and help someone else in the future.

Continue to work on cultivating sound Islamic values in your heart every single day and know that Allah is closer to you than your jugular vein [see Quran 50:16].
S N Smith
June 11, 2019
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