A week ago, I just happened to be driving next to a masjid right before fajr time. So naturally, I decided to pray fajr there.
Now praying fajr in the masjid isn’t a normal occurrence for me. Waking up for fajr is hard enough as it is, to be completely honest. And as of late, it’s been the prayer I struggle with the most.
But that morning was different. I entered the masjid at least thirty minutes before iqaamah, and the entire building was nearly empty. Dark, quiet – but not eerie, surprisingly. It was calm. Peaceful.
The air greeted me softly and led me towards the carpet. And so I sat and meditated for the first time in a very, very long time.
Meditating helps me clear my mind. Helps me focus on what’s important. Helps me remember Allah ﷻ in the most pure way I can. Some days I’ll close my eyes, focus, feel my heart beat to the rhythm of the praise of my Rabb – and an hour can go by in what feels like a split second.
Whilst meditating I reflected on what was inwards. On what was inside my heart. What things I had been ignoring for a good while. The sadness and pain. The anger towards my Rabb, and myself. The shame and guilt. I had been pushing them away, pretending they weren’t there.
And as I reflected, I allowed myself to feel those emotions. I allowed myself to process them, understand them, and embrace them. I am human. I am being tested. I am okay.
As my tears quietly fell down and soaked into the carpet, so did my demons. Gone was the sadness and pain. Gone was the anger. Gone was the shame and guilt. I opened my eyes and breathed a sigh of relief.
For a moment, I let the light of Allah ﷻ in. I let the light pour through the top of my head, fill every crevice in my body, spill out of my heart, and reach all the way down to the bottom of my toes. For a moment, I really was okay.
And that isn’t to say that all those feelings are completely gone now. Healing is a process. The wounds left by emotions, experiences, and people take time to heal. And even then – they leave scars.
But for the moment, I was okay. And being okay even for a second makes me trust in Allah ﷻ. Trust in the process. Trust that one day, I’ll be okay for good.
During prayer, the imam recited a passage from Surah Az-Zukhruf. The beginning of the passage describes those servants who believe in Allah ﷻ and his signs – they’ll be okay. More than okay – they’ll be in Jannah. And then He goes on to describe Jannah in such an incredible and beautiful way.
It was comforting. I felt at ease knowing that my Rabb’s mercy is infinite and endless. Even though I struggle every single day doing things that used to be very easy for me, like getting out of bed, praying, and wearing hijab. He knows I’m struggling. He sees it all. He’s with me and always will be.
After prayer, the few women who were there at the masjid sat and spoke with me for a bit. After learning about their lives, their struggles, and their hardships – I realized that I was in the presence of angels. Yes, angels.
Angels to carefully listen to the woes of my soul and hear my heartache. To gently hold my fragile heart and speak words of healing to it. To grasp my fingers and remind me to remember Allah ﷻ. Remember Allah ﷻ. Remember Allah ﷻ.
When I said salaam and walked away with much to think about, one of the women called out to me. As I turned around to hear her she said, “Don’t just go back home and forget about us now.”
I looked at her and responded, “Believe me, I know everything happens for a reason. Nothing is coincidental. I just met angels from the army of Allah ﷻ.”
She grinned at me knowingly and said, “And you’re one of them.”