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I Was Gifted A Map of Myself – Shout Outs of Resiliency From Our Communities
Mar 28, 2021
Dilshad Ali
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Inaya Abdul Jamil; image source: Inaya
Dilshad Ali
We began the month of March in this weird, hopeful, painful place – coming upon a year of difficult living with the COVID-19 global pandemic while also smelling the scents of relief and maybe even some hope with vaccines are being distributed, the weather warming up and Ramadan around the corner. We can feel a shift, a feeling of resilience and endurance that was always there in the background but now taking a stronger hold.
I wrote in a piece at the top of March that “we've all been through a lot, whether sickness and/or loss of life, loss of jobs or stuck at home doing virtual learning. But what is so powerful and inspiring is our ability to persevere, to keep moving forward and working towards something better.” And, we asked you for your stories of resiliency and strength to shout out here on the blog and in our social media pages:
How have you shown up for yourself? Your family or your community? How have you persevered in the past many months? We asked, and you delivered with some beautiful stories of what has kept you going and where you get your strength. We are so honored to share two short stories with you, in the words of the women who submitted them to us:
Saira Khan: I Received a Map of Myself
Saira Khan
I’m an avid quote reader. I have a folder on my phone with screenshots of various inspirational quotes that I’ve come across over the years. Lately, the one that has me reflecting on the past year is as follows: “I asked Allah for wealth. He gave me Islam.” (Muhammad Ali)
At the end of 2019, I thanked Allah for a year of extensive travels. I asked for my 2020 to also be filled with even more remarkable journeys. Little did I know that the journey I’d be gifted with would be the journey of self. I spent most of this past year navigating the treacherous and at times, calm waters of distance teaching. I witnessed my 70 and 80-something parents battle and overcome COVID. I relished in the joys of being an introvert, only to end the year convincing myself that I’m a closet extrovert. The ebb and flow of 2020 was unlike any other, but my du’a was answered.
I asked Allah for travel opportunities. He gave me a map of myself.
Find Saira on Instagram @sairandipity
Inaya Abdul Jamil: Where Do You Find Peace?
Inaya Abdul Jamil
The greatest drive that humans have is the search for peace. Whether you have an amazing career, money, fame, family or loved ones, it's not enough, you will still need that inner peace. The pandemic allowed me to reestablish my priorities in life. I have come to realize that the yearning for peace is embedded in our soul, and our faith is meant to drive us closer to God, who is the source of peace.
For the past year, I have been consistently meditating and reflecting with an intention of connecting deeper with myself and my Creator. This practice has allowed me to connect to the following verse from the Quran: "Allah does not burden anyone, except with something within its capacity; beneficial for it is the virtue it earned, and harmful for it is the evil it earned …”(2:286). This has allowed me to feel the presence of Allah in my life and feel more content at times of uncertainty.
Find Inaya on Instagram here or visit her blog here.
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