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God and I, we used to be such good friends. God, don’t I miss that friendship! There was no rush of leaving the prayer mat after praying. I’d stay there and just talk to Him, you know? Maybe because I was lonely. And it was such a comfortable safe space to slide into. I could cry, laugh and say all I wanted to say that my anxiety wouldn’t otherwise let me. Or maybe because of the way people judged me a little too harshly. I had always been recognized as the religious one. Why? I didn’t shake hands with men. Or maybe because I did all my sunnahs like they were compulsory. Or my sujoods were noticeably longer. And I wasn’t even trying. That was my comfortable zone. I remember leaving school earlier on Fridays just so I could go to a distant mosque where nobody recognized me so I could have alone time with God. It was beautiful.
Update 1: I prefer hugs to handshakes now 🙁
Update 2: Where did y’all religious friends go?
Update 3: I’m doing compulsories like they’re sunnahs now.
Update 4: Refer to update 3
Thing with friendships though, you don’t realize when they’re breaking. It’s so gradual and smooth before you know it you’re the friend that people are coming to for good music. The religious friends are spending less and less time with you. You’re spending your nights in clubs. And then one day after so many days you’ll find yourself in a dirty pitch in your room or on your way to work wondering, “How? How did I become this person? How did I get here? I just want to go home.”
So yeah, I’m not in a very good place with God now. And that hurts me. I’d be in Jamia mosque praying and look at people who look so engrossed in their own prayers and duas with Allah and i’ll feel so much envy and pain and a
“That used to be you” Must be the devil hat whispers with his tongue out.
Like there was this girl in a red Hijab once. She was at the very first line. Flawless skin and such a beautiful hearty and warm smile. I imagined she woke up in the depths of the night to pray. The way I used to. The way I want to.
Sometimes, I’m reminded of God in the most bizarre and unexpected way or place. Take for example this friend. Said friend isn’t Muslim. Said friend asks me, “How are you and God, love?”
That has stuck with me for so long since it happened. I wish we had such honest conversations more often. Or this time I’m watching a play, in the form of contemporary dance, about a group of people escaping their homeland because of war, and so they’re fleeing to safer grounds. I remember sitting there alone, telling myself, it’s time to start that journey. Go back home, darling.
Thing is, it’s such a big place. When you’re being pressured into stuff, you can not remember anything like peer pressure. You’re not even doing it to be cool for anyone. You tell yourself that you’re doing it in the spirit of being ‘adventurous’. And really, maybe you are. Because, the world our parents think we live in and the world we actually live in, it’s mars and venus. Two totally different realities. And people are busy. Everyone is going on with their business and here you are, taking whatever path you deem right. Which to be honest, I don’t really have a problem with. Only thing is, ‘Is there room for my faith and God in this?’ Most times that answer is no. And almost all those times, you’ll go ahead with whatever it is.
I haven’t been to a club. I haven’t taken alcohol. Alhamdullillah. But I have seen how weak I can get, and I don’t know when that day will come. I have close friends that I have seen traverse the ‘halal-strict-hijabi’ life to the party all night, ‘take buibui off in the corner close to home’ life. And yes, they are STILL my friends. Because a part of me gets them. A very big part of me gets them. And then there’s this part that’s hanging on to whatever trail that’s left of my friendship with God. That i’m holding on to with my dear life.
There’s that voice again.
“Go back home, darling.”
Your Favourite Stranger 🙂
P.S: You can read more of her pieces on her blog: https://www.favouritestranger.com/