In the past week or so, I have had a number of mini-revelations about myself that has led to an ultimate one: I want to be a woman of Allah. A woman of God.
What does that mean?
For me, and at this point in my life, it means that I want to live for my Creator (and He is free of all need). Why? Because up until now, everything else that I have lived for has brought me some type of misery.
I have lived for the material world and found myself both over and underwhelmed by the facade that exists behind its attractive exterior.
I have lived for people and been betrayed, let down, hurt, taken advantage of, neglected, under-appreciated and belittled.
I have lived for attention and the sake of pleasing those around me, only to be left feeling unlovable, never good enough, and unable to be everything for everyone.
I have lived for my emotions only to become intoxicated and disillusioned by both fleeting moments of perceived happiness, and horrifying depths of despair and darkness.
I have lived for my lowly, base, and carnal desires only to feel ashamed at my lack of self-control, determination, and will-power.
I have finally come to understand that living for the sake of anything except Allah, subhanahu wa ta’ala (exalted is He), will never fill the many voids that reside in my heart and instead, only create more. I have come to realize that I was attempting to medicate with poison; that I was stubbornly trying to fill a hole in my heart with things that would – and could – never complete me. With the temporary. The finite.
And yet, at the very realization that my heart could only be filled with the infinite love, remembrance, compassion, mercy, and blessings that come only from my Lord, my heart began to swell as the voids were steadily filled.
Reading these words may lead you to believe that I have reached some metaphorical illumination or level of enlightenment. But the truth is, I say these words knowing very well that I am a sinner. That I self-sabotage on my journey to Him by constantly disobeying His commands and neglecting my duties towards Him. I say these words as someone who has acknowledged their short comings, and who seeks to better themselves in whatever capacity they can. I say this as someone who is slowly, but surely, on a journey to self-realization, acceptance, and (insha’Allah) true love.
I say this as a young woman living in a world that she does not truly feel she belongs in. As a young woman searching for the divine while attempting to make peace with herself and her demons. As a young woman who has looked for love in the wrong corners and has now turned to the very source of it. No, not turned, but ran. Sprinted. For this transformation that she has felt herself undergoing is one of urgency, driven by the lack of satisfaction with the dunya (this life), devils, and desires.
It’s funny because when we think of a person of God, a certain caricature pops into our minds – typically someone who embodies humanity’s ideals of upright character, morals, and ethics: a monk, or ascetic. Someone who has completely given up the world and what it contains.
However, I do not fit this caricature whatsoever. In fact, none of us do. Which is why, and beautifully so, that a person of God may be recognizable only to God Himself. To the rest of the world, they may simply be “so and so”. But to Allah (swt), they may be someone who has attained His mercy, nearness, and blessings; His love and guidance and pleasure.
Becoming a woman of God, for me, ultimately means establishing a connection to my Creator so strong, that nothing – no circumstance, person, material, mood, or ideology – can come between us. It means that I seek my ultimate counsel, friendship, nearness, love, hope, trust, fear, companionship, acceptance, and reliance from Him first and foremost. Being a woman of God means that I have taken the following hadith to heart and strive to become the one about whom Allah (swt) says:
It also means that my empowerment comes from Him alone. Not society, fashion, billboards, magazines, or false, unattainable standards. But from the One who is the Most Just. From the One who will accept me regardless of my appearance or flaws. From the One who will look at my heart and judge of its soundness and sincerity.
As whimsical, far-reached, unattainable or even pretentious as it sounds, this is what I ultimately want for myself. To become a woman of God. To give my whole heart, the entire fabric of my being, the intricacies of my essence and the fibers of my soul to Him, and Him alone.
May He make it possible for me, and you as well – Ameen.
And Allah (swt) knows best.
- Although the (English) translation of this hadith uses “he”, it applies to both genders, hence why I replaced “he” with “they”. Wallahu a`lam (and God knows best). [↩]