By: Jessica Daqamsseh
I remember the soft breeze welcoming the early light of day. The adhan beckoning believers to worship. My balcony overlooking an assortment of blessings—olive, fig, lemon, and pomegranate trees nestled near grape vines. The precious silence which one only encounters in the countryside. I felt removed from the hustle and bustle of modern life. The ability to connect with and to appreciate the perfection of Allah subhana wa ta’ala’s creation was made simpler. My husband said the land is filled with barakah. In those moments, I understood his sentiments.
As an American struggling to adapt to her adopted homeland, it was the early morning hours which grounded me. Jordan filled me with an ease and called me to reflect on life’s beauty and simplicity. Back home, reflection gets lost in relentless pursuit of motion. My America strives toward constant innovation and reinvention. One cannot reflect too long, or they will be left behind. We must continue forward. But, this new land demands my attention. Each moment, a blessing, requiring our gratitude and reflection.
On my balcony, I watch the men meander home from Fajr prayer. My perch allows me a bird’s eye view of my new world. We live on a small, rock-strewn side street off the main highway to Israel and Syria. The close-knit homes are all relations of my husband. Our days and nights are synced as one. The family is life here. Unlike ease and simplicity, space and solitude are rarities. We must relish the moments when we find them.
“Sabah el khair.” My mother-in-law emerges from our shared living space. A routine of Turkish coffee and sweets reminds us that work awaits. We savor these treats in silence before the others awake.
There are five of us (with another on the way) tucked into this humble abode. My mother and brothers-in-law welcomed home my husband and I only two months ago. There was much fanfare and visitors came at all hours of the day and night. Faces and names became a blur as one after the other trickled into my mother-in-law’s parlor. Ahlan wa sahlan. Two or three awkward kisses on the cheek, a smile and a meek salaam. An American out of her element with nonexistent Arabic. I was a sight to behold. I still remember thinking if the visits would ever taper and how one could possibly keep track of everyone.
Back on my balcony, I soaked in the sunrise before commencing my day. My husband enrolled me in an Arabic for Non-Native Speakers class at Yarmouk University. It was my first day of school. Since I arrived, I had never separated myself from my new family. I felt anxious to gain some independence, but also exhausted from the toils of pregnancy accompanied by processing my new surroundings. I quickly supplicated for success on my new journey before gathering the coffee set and chocolate wrappers to bring to the kitchen. SubhanAllah. Alhamdulillah. Allahu akbar. La ilaha illalah. Time to put my mind at rest.
We seek solace in the silence of Allah’s creation. Here we reclaim our rhythm and return to remembrance. In the months to come, these morning rituals grounded me. A time for reflection and preparation for the day—a much needed rekindling of strength.
In the Land of Barakah, time releases us from her constraints. Ease ripples through the valley guiding the believer back to the Divine.
About the author:
Jessica is a writer and school teacher living in the United States. She converted to Islam nearly 7 years ago. She enjoys spreading the Islamic message of compassion, love and mercy through her writing.