Many of us live a life consumed by loneliness, and even when surrounded by family, friends, colleagues or acquaintances, we just can’t shake the feeling that we are alone. It is a welcome revelation, and huge relief then, to realise that when we have entered the fold of Islam, in fact, we are never truly alone.
Yet everyone feels the dark cloud of loneliness at some point in their lives. But what is loneliness- is it physical, or is it emotional?
We presume that because we are surrounded by people at school, college, university, work, at the gym, at the restaurant, at the mall, at family gatherings, at social gatherings, that we won’t feel alone. But we can be surrounded by numerous people and still feel like we are alone in this world, unable to shake the paranoia that we are the only ones who feel this way. Why is everyone else just “getting on with it” when you feel an….emptiness?
Growing up in a completely non religious family, the feeling of being alone was at the forefront of my mind through difficult teenage years followed by my 20s, trying to figure out my purpose in life- an impossible task without the guidance of a higher power! And although I had always had a feeling of the presence of God, praying in times of desperation because I had nowhere else to turn, I had no guidance or knowledge of anything beyond my own gut feelings that this can’t just be…it.
Alhumdulillaah! Amongst the confusion, a glimmer of hope appeared when I was guided to Allah and Islam. The most unexpected and indescribable feelings started to rush through me, the more that I read and researched and learned. A calmness and peacefulness warmed me, as I started to feel things clicking into place.
And with that, the discovery above and beyond anything else was belief…
Belief in this journey.
Belief in my purpose.
Belief in myself.
Belief that we are never alone.
Belief in Allah.
Being a believer in Allah brings light to the end of a long, lonely, dark tunnel- its this light that pulls me through as I hold onto the memory of life without it; It brings hope that blessings will come both to us and to those whom we love and make dua for, as I bring to mind all the blessings that have come so far; It brings gratitude for all that we have already been blessed with, as I remember how these have been endowed despite my many shortcomings and failures; It brings enlightenment that struggles and hardship are a test for us all to be better than we were before- and this enlightenment brings anticipation of the day that I will meet my Benefactor and Beloved; It brings knowledge that this life is more than just the daily slog- and this knowledge grants me enjoyment of even the most mundane, as I bring the remembrance of the Divine into it; It brings guidance to every aspect of our lives. It brings self awareness that we are chosen by Allah. It brings clarity.
Belief opens your eyes to a whole new way of life. It makes you assess your whole life up until this point, the good and the bad. It makes you look deep inside yourself and see who you truly are. Allah knows us better than anyone, better than we know ourselves. And with belief we can connect with ourselves deeper than we ever have before. With Allah’s guidance we can have awareness without fear, safe in the knowledge that He will guide us on the right path if we allow ourselves to have belief with an open heart.
With this belief comes awareness that you are a part of something extraordinary, that your life will never be the same again. Your belief brings with it the knowledge that your life, is a life to be cherished. That you belong to a community of believers who you may not even know, but who tie you to the chain that leads back to your Lord; that you may be walking a lonely path at times, but it is the path that has been walked by those closest to God for centuries before us, and whose legacy we carry for those who will come and walk the lonely path after us.
About the author: Traci Wells-Ali