I remember it was winter in England and I was catching a train back to the city where I lived. It was cold, I looked out, White snow was falling lightly from the gloomy sky. The train was moving fast, and as it moved I could see grounds in white all covered up by snow. ‘Covered up?’ the word rang in my head. Images of hijab and headscarf flashes on my mind.
For the two hours journey, I couldnt sleep even once. There was too much on my mind. I was born as a Muslim. And I didn‘t pray five times a day like everybody else. I hardly could read the Quran. People could say I was illiterate in a way. Because at times, it took me a long while to finish even a short verse from the Quran. It was in Arabic and I was never taught Arabic, that was my excuse of not reading. I thought as long as you have a good heart that‘s good enough. And if you don’t commit huge sins, you’ll be fine. But what she said, made my whole perspective looked, vain.
I was from London and on my way back home to the North West region. My heart wasn’t at ease. What she said had made me thinking, and I was thinking real hard. She was a nice girl. ‘Be a true Muslim, and not just a Muslim by name,’ she said politely with a smile, but the meaning was intense. She was merely quoting and was not saying it to me but my heart was touched. What kind of Muslim, had I been all these while? I don’t want to be a Muslim and only by name. It doesn’t sound good either. As the train moved, heading to North West where I lived, I let out few sighs.
Few months after later.. ‘Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim..,’ I read out loud before starting to read the Quran. My web-cam was on. That night We were in the middle of Quranic circle. It’s an activity that we do once a week. Through this circle, we read the Quran in turns. All were ladies. Sometimes we get to discussed about the meaning behind the Quran verses and some Hadith from Rasulullah. It was amazingly fun and I never thought I would actually had fun doing religious activity. I was very thankful to Siti and her older sister because now I can read the Quran much better. And since then, I keep on gradually changing, I realised. How I view life has changed too, a bit if not much.
At nights before I slept, I thought of going to a place. Somewhere faraway and seemed hard to reach but I knew its reachable. And if possible, I wanted to go there with someone that I loved. Of course that’s still remain as a wish and I hope it’ll come true one day. My life is never this calm! I now wear headscarf everywhere I go. It doesn’t feel right without it. Sometimes that leads to guilt, when people sees my hair. So I wear headscarf whenever I go out. My social activity especially when interacting with men has also changed. I used to be friendly and outgoing, even with the opposite gender. Now I feel sort of afraid. Sometimes I limit myself from being too ‘friendly’ with men. Sometimes, I think twice before I talked to them. Is it necessary or not to talk now? Because Women can be a fitnah to men, I don’t want to build up sins.
I used to look for a romantic boyfriend before. I searched high and low but funny that I never really had a boyfriend until now. I used to ask why? The question is why. Because I’m not unpretty. But now I understand the reason behind. Having a romantic relationship outside marriage can lead to something that breaks the law of Syariah. All praise to Allah, I’m glad I never had boyfriends before. I’m not worried if I don’t find a guy any sooner. I’m not looking for a relationship anymore. And definitely not looking for someone based on how romantic he is. I’m going with the flow, after all everything about humans has been written. I want to fix myself first.
I read somewhere about ‘Mencintai kerana Allah’ or ’Loving you because of God’. It was a nice Malay blog entry. I am aiming for that kind of love now. It sounds more pure than romantic love, to me.
‘What’s your dream guy like?’ a friend asked me one day while we ride on a taxi.
I didn’t replied him immediately though, ‘and have you found him?’ he added quickly.
‘Why do you want to know’ I politely asked with a smile.
‘Well, only asking,’ he replied calmly. Then there were silent. The road was wet due to the rain. It was soon before the taxi reached my home.
‘Was he like me?’ he then added. He was hinting something, I knew. I’ve been waiting for this moment all this year. And this could be a dream come true, but..
‘My dream guy is,’ I began ‘Someone who can guide me, you know, he leads and I follow,’ Then I paused.
‘I can be the guy,’ He said confidently.
There was silence again, a long one. The taxi finally reached my home. I said goodbyes to him and walked to my front door. I wave before the taxi accelerated again. He smiled to me even though I didn’t gave him the answer. He was a nice guy but he couldn‘t be the guy. Because…
I want to live with a guy who could guide me, so that I can get closer to My Creator. I want a man who can lead as an Imam, in every prayers that we’re gonna do together as married couple. A man who would tell Islamic history as a bed-time-stories to our children in the future. I want a man who’ll read the holly Quran to me, to cheer me every time I’m down. That is my dream guy and before I can meet him, I knew I need to fix myself first.
One beautiful spring afternoon, I was at a function. There were many Malays all gathered. That’s when I met him. He’s not just decent but he has the characteristic of my dream guy. Every time our eyes met accidentally during the event, he quickly moved away his stare. That convinced me, even more. I knew he’ll be a good amir, a leader of a family. Secretly I prayed: O‘ Allah, I want that kind of guy as a partner in life. At nights before I slept, I thought of going to a place. Somewhere faraway and seemed hard to reach but I knew its reachable. And if possible, I wanted to go there with someone that I loved. I want to go to Jannah (the heaven) with him! I’ll wait here and I know the wait is worthy.