Running in again, the third time today and just in from Math Honors Society she doesn't even stop to catch her breath before jumping into the restroom to make a quick ablution. Frantically trying to beat time she runs and almost falls down the stairs, stumbling over her feet. Finally calm and assembled she assumes her normal composure of sincerity and focus. As she lifts her hands up over her shoulders to symbolically push all material concerns away, she quietly utters three of the most powerful words she has ever known: "God is Greatest." Already absorbed in her prayer her body begins to tremble slightly, as if a rush of emotions is building up waiting to break free. She bends her head slightly to direct her gaze at the ground and the corner of her head-covering falls softly over her elbow. In a sincere and humble tone she recites verses of the Holy Qur'an, of which she has so persistently worked long and hard to memorize. She gives herself up to the power of the occasion as she bows down to her Lord, face on floor in a position of the utmost humility. "Praise be to my Lord the Most High," she repeats to herself three times with only the desire to please her Lord. Asking forgiveness and giving thanks, she stands up again but this time with teary eyes. She can not help but be overcome with emotions at the remembrance of His infinite mercy and kindness. She can not help but feel ashamed of all the hurtful things she has said and done and all the ways in which she has misused His gifts to her. Like the devoted believers of old she prays her prayer as if it is her last. As if this is her final chance to seek forgiveness, redeem herself, give thanks, and draw herself closer to the Almighty. Grief stricken and frightened she suddenly realizes how unworthy and unthankful she is, how wasteful and materialistic she has grown. In such a state she appeals to her Lord, "Forgive me, educate me, guide me." Again she recites from the Qur'an and it lifts her spirit and gives her hope; "If Allah findeth any good in your hearts, He will give you something better than what has been taken from you, and He will forgive you for Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful. (8:70) Allah hath prepared for them gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein: that is the supreme felicity. (9:89)" She pleads her case, "I've always tried my hardest, challenged myself for the best, advocated service to You and your creations, worked to increase my knowledge, and all for You. Please give me the strength, hope, and willpower to persevere." As her prayer nears an end she again bows down. A calmness and peace seem to surround her, encircle her rolled up body and rest upon her arched back. She suddenly feels as if she can do no wrong, as if nothing evil can touch her. She sits upright again and turns her head to the right and then the left saying "Peace and blessings be unto you" to the angels perched on her shoulders. Her spirit and mind is renewed and she is ready to work hard, contribute positively, and achieve the best. She is ready for the challenge and the sacrifice and suddenly her A.P. Calculus project no longer seems so impossible and uninteresting.
from MYNAret Newsletter
Muslim Youth of North America