“Light upon Light! God doth guide whom He will to His Light.” Surat An Nur: 35
This is my friend’s favorite verse in the Qur’an. It was this part of the ayah which brought tears to her eyes and brought her closer to Allah. This ayah talked to her, as it should talk to all of us: Allah guides whom He wills; I never really understood it fully until a couple of weeks ago.
“Dania, she wants to do it, she wants to become Muslim,” another friend approached me in chemistry class to break the news. I remember standing there in shock, not being able to believe it was true. I thought to myself, the day had finally come! My friend had decided that this was the day she wanted to embrace Islam. Then actually witnessing her shahadah (testimony of faith), choking on my tears, holding her so tight, and so happy for what had just happened –it was a day I will never forget.
Allah guided her and He had shown her the Light. The same Light which many of us are blessed to have been born with, something we very much take for granted. Yet guidance from Allah comes from places we may not comprehend. Sometimes we focus so much on ‘someone’, thinking if we keep inviting him or her to a halaqah or an event that something will eventually click – that something will change. The truth of the matter is that it really isn’t in our hands to decide who will be guided and who will not. After all, Allah’s wisdom for guiding someone is much greater than our own knowledge which He has given us in the first place.
My friend has been guided by the mercy of Allah, and she has been the biggest inspiration to many of us who know her. A friend who sat beside me in English class in high school, although a casual classmate at the time, but now my sister in Islam.
She is special because with her Islam and determination, she taught me about the importance of something I had simply grown up with, something I did just because I knew it was ‘right’. She taught me the importance of the hijab. When she told me a week after her shahadah that she had she decided to wear hijab as her next step, I couldn’t hold back my tears. This was awesome, alhamdulillah. But the questions began to bounce around in my head like ping pong balls: how can you do this, you’ve been Muslim for a week, and you already you know now is the right time? How do you know this is right for you so soon?
The response I received from her will stay with me forever. She quoted the ayah of hijab, telling me that this decision felt right, in both her heart and mind. She tried out hijab for a day and it felt right. Taking it off, she felt she missed it, it was already a part of who she was. She said that wearing hijab gave her an extremely good feeling and sense of modesty. She just had to do it.
We are showered with blessings upon us daily, and while some deny them, others are too blind to see them. My friend told me that her conversion was the clearest sign of Allah’s blessings upon her. Alhamdulillah. Being Muslim is a blessing, seeing someone become Muslim is a greater blessing, and seeing someone who is just a week or so into Islam take on the Hijab, just makes me so grateful for Allah’s favours upon me.
So to my dear sisters who are hesitant to take the step of wearing hijab, think of my friend. Think of your new sister in Islam, who like many others out there. has changed her whole life by deciding to take it another step within a week of her Islam and wear the hijab. Remember this, when you look in the mirror and make an excuse that people will judge you, realize that even Allah waits until the Day of Judgement to judge you, and so the instant judgements of those around you truly have no basis.
Sarah Hurst, you have been an inspiration to me. You have taught me so much about myself and so much about our friendship. I ask Allah to shower you with His mercy. I ask Him to guide your family, and to show them all the Light. I ask Allah to allow us to be under His shade on the Day there is no shade, for a friendship for His sake. I ask Him to keep you firm on His Deen and make everything easy on you, as well as those who are inspired by your story, as I forever will be.