By Traci Wells
Being a recent revert, I am still finding my feet with the knowledge that comes with Islam. My Muslim app is my trusty sidekick when it comes to the information I need, daily prayer times, and just becoming a
part of my first Ramadan journey – keeping a check on fasting times and being able to access the Quran wherever I am. One of the great things about modern day technology and the Internet is being able to access
information whenever you need it. And being a revert with no fellow Muslims to chat to and gain knowledge from, I find this app a necessity on my spiritual journey.
I stumbled across the 99 names of Allah whilst familiarising myself with my Muslim app. I flicked through the Divine Names, instantly realising that they held great meaning; attributes so perfect and encompassing could only belong to God, as no human being able to live up to this many qualities. A few reliable Internet sources and trusty YouTube videos gave me a further insight into the 99 names of Allah, all meaningful and powerful in their own right. Each one makes me ponder and connect with Our Creator, The Most Merciful, The Loving, The protector of all things.
I know my understanding of these names will change and have new meaning throughout my journey of faith in Allah, each one taking hold and guiding me through the darkness; A glimmer of the light that He gives to us always helping, guiding, leading the way; A reminder of all that He is and all that He gives to us.
The Giver of Life – Al-Muhyi is the attribute of Allah (swt) that jumped out at me from the extensive list. The giver of life. Let that sit and take root. Each time I ponder over those words, each time I am struck with an
overwhelming sense of awe.
We are often told that life is short, a gift to cherish and not take for granted as it can be snatched away at any moment. The trendy motto YOLO gives a false reality to be carefree and reckless, so that you never live to regret wasting your life as ‘you only live once’, yet being Muslim we already have an appreciation of the importance of our time and our life, but from a different perspective…
Being Muslim changes your outlook on life in so many ways. I had always believed there was a heaven, a life after this one, yet becoming Muslim confirmed just how real that belief is. And with that comes the greater realisation that life is so fragile, so precious, a gift that we often forget amidst the busy schedules and remembering to pay our bills.
We are given life. Our life. Our bodies. Our minds. Our souls. The breath in our lungs and the blood in our veins, our hearts pumping away effortlessly through no consciuos effort of our own…
All of it teetering on the edge of an invisible cliff, the risk of falling can happen at any moment. This reminder is powerful. Our lives are written before they even begin. Our end decided for us.
It’s not something I had often thought about. My carefree twenties were always filled with a “you’re only young once” attitude. Unaware of the higher power involved in my every day life, Subhanallah ( Glory be to Allaah, far removed is He from any imperfections), and now I am acutely conscious of how fragile my time on this earth is; how blessed I am to be here.
When I feel low or I’m struggling with the daily grind, I practice gratitude to my Creator for Giving me Life, for allowing me to grow and gain the knowledge of Islam, to be able to look into the eyes of my
children and thank Him for all He has given to me, for the people in my life whether positive or negative.
I am grateful to Him that He has allowed me to be aware of the kind of person I want to be, the kind of wife, mother, daughter, friend, associate; that He has given me an awareness of myself and others that frustrates yet motivates me to live this day like it could be the last.
Death is a complex subject, many people find it impossible to think about, let alone talk about. And for good reason, as it brings with it pain, heartache and fear. Yet it is inevitable for all of us.
“Every soul shall taste death” Quran 3:185
It is something not a single person can deny will happen to ourselves, and to those we know and love. I watch my children’s every move in an anxious state of protection, conscious of allowing them the freedom they need to grow and thrive, whilst wanting to wrap them in the soft cocoon of my arms and never let them go. The overwhelming need to keep them safe from ever being hurt or exposed to the negativity this dunya can sometimes offer, is something that can drive you to the edge of that same invisible cliff, plummeting to the darkness below.
The alternative is hard to accept; if you think too hard about the possibilities of death for those close to you, the sudden fear of them being taken away from you, you’d rather suffer yourself than ever see them in pain.
Yet with faith brings an inner peace about death. An acceptance that it is inevitable and out of our control. And with that acceptance comes acknowledgement that this life is a test for us all. Whilst watching a video recently, the wise Mufti Menk made a statement that stuck with me:
“This life is to prepare us for the day we meet Our Maker”
This gave me the wake up call and impetus to pay attention, which I sometimes need in order to have more awareness of every moment of my day – that all of this is all just the prep, the important necessary element to enable us to gain the best for our Eternity. If the prep isn’t done correctly the rest will fail, so I must take my time, think about how to go about my life and my days here in the best possible way; be conscious of why I am here and where I am heading. The outcome is undoubtedly worth the work.
“And no soul can die except by Allah’s command – a time has been appointed for each; whoever desires the rewards of this world, We bestow upon him from it; and whoever desires the reward of the Hereafter, We bestow upon him from it; and We shall soon reward the thankful.”
About the author: Traci Wells-Ali