I have been through an almost fatal accident that caused me to succumb into a comatose. I have also braved riding a tourist bus that turned turtle at the edge of a cliff after swerving several times on a mountainside highway. I have survived an attempt of rape that resulted to eight stabbed wounds from my skull down to my rear on my second trimester of my first pregnancy. I have succeeded the national Nursing board exams one time big time with an ailing memory after my coma. Subahanallaah! Subhanallaah! Subhanallaah! But by far, there is yet the most difficult quest in my life: to find the truth is never easy.
A colleague who knew my biggest secret told me something that struck me big time. He said that to be a Muslim or to embrace Islam in that light is like holding on to a flaming charcoal. It takes a strong man to hold on to his religion. Or must I rather say to a religious way of life? At the back of my mind, I thought, does that explain why I had to go through a lot first before I got to where I am now? Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. Alhamdulillah. I felt I passed a qualifying test. But I am not celebrating yet.
As I try to recall experiences that seemed not to conform with the norms of the culture where I was raised since my childhood. it dawned on me why I feel differently strange about a lot of things. I do not mean to justify juvenile disobedience. Nor the typical curiosity of a preschooler. Nor the adventurous saga of an adolescent. Nor the mixed temperament of the mid-life crisis. More than anything that I can explain, Subhanallaah, this explains why I pester my religion teachers with questions that seemed senseless. Or why I was burdened to ask each and every saint to intercede for my intentions. Or why I always awakened by someone on a public address before the break of dawn who call on people to what I thought was an exercise program. Or why I was denied admission to the nunnery. Or why I believed my Dad was right somehow about his questions about dogmas. Or why I was led to a revolutionary life. Or why I was so comfortable up our rooftop conversing directly to The One. All because there is Only One. No if’s. No but’s. Subhanallaah.
Hence my quest remains to be a secret to most people I know who knows me. Because I feel that I need to be validated yet. Not by any religious police or teacher. I feel I do not need to explain myself to anyone else. But I feel that I need to purge myself more for Allaah to be worthy to be even called a Muslim.
Allaah, the All-Knowing, knows no doubt what is in this sinful heart. Allaah, the Beneficent, the Merciful, the All-Merciful, knows how my heart cries in repentance for my ignorance all this time. Though I claim to know not beyond what Allaah allows my free will to comprehend, what I am certain is that Allaah has caused all things to happen to send me back home to the true deen.
I have just arrived. And this is just the beginning. I struggle to perform Salat in the way the Prophet [SAWS] has prayed. I commit myself to learn about Islam everyday in every way that I can. I strive to educate myself of the completeness of the Qur’an to guide me through my quest. And then Inshallaah I will be called Muslim not because I declare my Shahādah but Allaah kareem from within me, Inshallaah others will see the light in the dark and that more people will be led back to the right path to Allaah.