“There are people who fast and get nothing from their fast except hunger, and there are those who pray and get nothing from their prayer but a sleepless night.” — Rasulullah ﷺ | Ibn Majah 1690
Today in particular was different from most days. As I was walking through the mall, I couldn’t help but take an extra moment to notice how busy my environment was. This time I was more observant and noticed myself analyzing the people who were rushing past me. Some were alone and looked straight ahead, faces stern with focus. Others in a group with their friends, laughing and bumping one another without a care. I felt like I was looking at the world from the inside out. Everyone was busy heading in their own direction, hastily trying to reach their destination, while I sat there creepily staring at different faces. I couldn’t help but wonder in amazement how everyone had their own story.
Isn’t it so amazing how Allah Azwajjal is aware of every, single person’s story on this Earth, but we’re not? How He knows whats in our hearts and how we feel at night? There could be a boy who goes to bed tonight with his heart aching. The space around him feeling like a gloomy sea while he encounters it in waves of pain. He could be laying there twisting and turning hoping it’ll wash away, while the girl next door is chatting away with her best friend. That boy could be aware of His pain in this dunya and calling out to Allah to fix him, while the girl abandoned her prayers for the day. It made me think of how everyone’s experiences and emotions are so different. How some, if not all of us are so consumed with this world that we are completely oblivious to the abandonment of our hearts.
I realized more than ever today that we all have our own stories. We all have different relationships with our creators, some stronger than others. On the days when some of us may find it hard to breathe and can’t find it in us to call out to Him, others may have conversations with their Lord that quickly bring them comfort and ease. I kept thinking about how everyone’s trials and tribulations are handled so differently and it brought me back to this verse in the Quran, قُلِ اللَّهُ يُنَجِّيكُم مِّنْهَا وَمِن كُلِّ كَرْبٍ – “Say, ‘It is Allah who saves you from it and from every distress’ ” (6:64). That regardless of the stage in our stories, the pain will be resolved when we put our trust in Him.
I’m not sure if the air in Ramadan made me feel extra thankful today, but I praise Allah Azwajjal for how understanding He truly is. I thank Him for helping to carry me through each loop, when my trials in this life were the hardest, and my legs felt too numb to jump anymore. I’m thankful for Him allowing my heart to open so I could feel like I’m closer to Him everyday. For all of the times that I have crawled desperately to Allah Azwajjal as a last resort, He has always made me His priority. He has never forgotten me even when I found myself forgetting Him. I guess the moments that I observed made me more aware that we’re all so unique. That our pains, both known and hidden are so different. That sometimes, we need to sit back and take a moment to absorb our surroundings. To recognize that none of this is real. That the connection we build with Allah. Our pains and tribulations make up our stories, but today I am extra thankful for Him making my story, mine.