By Nahela Morales
Three weeks ago today I was on my way home to Dallas, Texas on a 16 hour flight from UAE. I was exhausted to say the least. While waiting to get off the plane I was greeted by a lovely flight attendant, she was standing on my left hand side. After hearing me speak Spanish with my son, she asked me where was I from? I replied Mexico. She then asked, “Are you a Convert to Islam?” I said yes, Alhamdulillah. She then excitedly reply, “so am I.” The connection was immediate from that moment forward. It seemed as we had known each other our entire lives. The following hadith came to mind as we were getting ready to say farewell after finding each other…
`Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said: “I heard the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) saying: `Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with (as if they met before), and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with (as if they never met before).” – al-Bukhaari
We made the intention to meet later that evening for dinner but our exhaustion took the best of us. We both ended up falling asleep, subhanAllah. The next day I was leaving to Mexico and we were not able to meet either. Nevertheless we got to know each other a bit more through our conversations first on Instagram and later via WhatsApp after exchanging phone numbers. We have been in touch ever since, Alhamdulillah.
We both made dua to see each other again once we said our goodbyes. During these past 3 week we’ve exchanged our stories, our challenges upon entering Islam with our families and have had a few laughs too. She expressed the need for community and I told her I would show her around the next time she would fly into Dallas, Texas. We both hoped and prayed that day would be soon. As I’ve mentioned in the past every time I meet or interact with a new Muslim I am immediately reminded of my journey and want to assist them as much as I can.
Sister Carla is a relatively new Muslim working on implementing everything she is learning about her new way of life – Islam. Therefore, I have included her in my daily duas since the day I met her. As we all know the best gift we can give one another is making dua for each other. I constantly ask Allah subhana wa’taala to grant ease, strength and unshakable faith. You see, we are all struggling and or perhaps deeply hurting while others are enduring something that they will never speak about. That being said, it is very important to always treat each other with utter respect, compassion and understanding. Navigating life is difficult at times as it is, we need to stop being so judgmental towards one another. Always look inward before looking outward. Take a look at this following hadith…
Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: Allah will say to his servant when He will be taking account of him on the Day of Judgment, ‘O’ son of Adam, I was hungry and you did not feed me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I feed you? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so who is the son of so and so felt hunger, and you did not feed him. Alas, had you fed him you would have found that (i.e. reward) with Me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I was thirsty and you gave Me nothing to drink.’ He will reply: ‘How could I give You drink? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so was thirsty and you did not give him drink. Alas, if you had given him, you would have found that (i.e. reward) with me.’ ‘O’ son of Adam, I became sick and you did not visit Me.’ He will answer: ‘How could I visit You? You are the Lord of the worlds!’ He will say: ‘Did you not know that my servant so and so, the son of so and so became sick and you did not visit him. Alas, had you visited him, you would have found Me with him. – (Al Bukhari)
Let’s not fall short in our daily practices, let us always carry ourselves with the best character and spread our faith by exercising the most eloquent and beautiful manners everywhere we go. We never know who Allah subhana wa’taala will send our way to nourish, assist, care for and or guide.
Yesterday, our dua was answered we met for the second time. She learned about her next flying assignment to Dallas only 2 hours before departure. Before taking off from UAE I received a text saying, “see you tomorrow, in shaa Allah.” Nothing else was said I figured out the rest and picked up her. Our time together was brief but lovely. I tried to show her as much as I could in such a short amount of time. By the time I dropped her in her hotel she had been awake 24 hours, it was time for her to get some rest. Anyway, we ended up grabbing coffee at Pax & Beneficia Coffee before driving to Valley Ranch Islamic Center (the mosque) to pray dhuhr. Sister Carla was very touched by the hospitality and the openess of this masjid, no barriers. Since converting to Islam she has been listening to Sheikh Omar Suleiman lectures. She had no idea he was the resident scholar at this facility. Even though he was not there for dhuhr, Sister Carla was able to briefly meet Sheikh Yaser Birjas and his wife. They welcomed her and he encouraged her to attend the ICNA-MAS Convention this weekend to experience a true sense of community under one roof. This convention is taking place in Baltimore, Maryland, in shaa Allah.
On our way back Sister Carla expressed a significant amount of gratitude. She shared with me the following, “my teacher always tells to pray for friends who remind me of Allah. And here you are Sister Nahela taking me to the best place in the world, the house of Allah, the nearby mosque.” Today, Thursday Sister Carla and I are both fasting, we plan to enjoy iftar together. We will pray together and say our goodbyes – or unitl next time, bi’thnillah.
May Allah subhana wa’taala grant us sincerity in every action we take for His sake. May we be blessed with company who always reminds us to enjoy the good and forbid the evil and may we be the best example to those seeking the truth, ameen.