Today like every Friday at our college, there was an Islamic Society meeting. I do not attend regularly but rather every few weeks. Friday lunchtimes always seem to be busy in some way or another, but this week I had vowed to myself that I would go, as I had already missed two other meetings, and it would be a shame not to hear about lessons in Islam.
From beforehand I was aware that the topic was going to be about Du'a, and how it is a weapon for the believer.
On this particular Friday I arrived late to the meeting, and the discussion of the main topic had already finished, and they had moved on to talk about other topics on the agenda.
I squeezed into the room which was unusually brimming with people and sat down in the corner of the room beside other people who were also sitting on the floor.
I do not know what it was about today, but as I looked across the whole room and at the lead sisters of the Islamic society at the front of the room, my heart sort of deflated, and I wanted to cry.
The more I looked at the sisters that were addressing us, the more I wanted to cry.
In my head one question continued to circulate - 'when did I become such a bad Muslim?'
Over and over again, the question was running circles in my head and being in that room made me feel mentally weak.
Again, I do not know why I felt like this. All I could think was how I should have been one of those sister's telling others about Islam. I should be stronger in my faith. I should be creating a closer link with Islam.
But I was far from all that.
I left the room feeling more depressed than I had been in quite some time, with a heavy weight on my heart and head. One thing you notice when you have an all time low is how easily susceptible you are to all things negative. In that already deflated position, one by one, more things add up in your mind and it gets worse, Literally a downward spiral.
Today I was lucky. After a few hours to myself and as I set off to go home I somehow seemed to have calmed down a lot.
On the bus home, I reflected on the question I had posed to myself earlier that day at the meeting: 'When did I become such a bad Muslim?'
I cannot really fully answer this question, and a bigger part of the answer would probably be based on looking at my past, whether that was a few days, weeks, or months ago. But I would rather not look back because I know it will only make things wrong. What I realised instead was that I should take this as some sort of push and wake up call. I should take it as a step forward.
My heavy heart was telling me something, and I needed to listen.
In that room, as I sat there, the only person telling me I was not a good Muslim was the voice in my head. I was my own enemy.
I may not be a 'good enough' Muslim in this moment in time, but if I fall into a whirl of negativity I would never be able to turn myself around and become 'good enough'.
As I write this, I am not at all sure from what point I need to start. But I know I won't over think myself silly trying to work out a starting point. Maybe my starting point could be this Sunday, I could attend the Islamic event the sister's at the Islamic Society were talking about. That could possibly be a starting point.
And sometimes it is crazy to spend time trying to work out when to start because life is truly short, and who knows how much shorter it could be. I do not know when my time will come.
Even though I may have missed the topic on Du'a at the meeting, I know a fair bit about it myself. It may seem like your prayers are continuously not being answered, but the beauty is that if you are patient and you do not lose faith in Allah, your answers will come when it is the right time for them to come.
A while back I had made Du'a about something that was causing me a lot of stress. And it was not until months later that my prayers were answered, but even then it took a while before I even realised that what had happened had come as an answer to my problems.
The power of Du'a can truly be amazing.
I am not sure why I wanted to write this down, but honestly I haven't had a lot of days recently where I have felt 'down', and having to experience that feeling after a while made it all the more worse. But I am still working to limit my number of 'down' days.
Side note: To cheer myself up, I baked cupcakes!