By sister Iqra Aamir (may Allah reward her) whose words speak my story, the story of countless women of God
She started the month of Ramadan with all the strength and determination of an eagle. Her eyes held a steely glint as they focused on the ultimate prize. It was close. So close she could see it, feel it, taste it: the sweetness of success. Milestones reached. Goals achieved. Satisfaction. All by the Grace of Allah SWT. Until she came crashing down to earth, so soon. Too soon. Her wings were broken, her heart sore and, when she looked up to where she had once flown so freely, she found she could hardly make out the clouds she had once longed to walk on. And she cried bitter tears. To gather her broken wings together, to mend them, feather by matted feather, was too much for her battered soul. Better to lie there and close her eyes, shut out the starlight which served as a reminder of where she had once longed to be. To remain earthbound, to cleave to the earth, to forget that she was ever made to fly, that would be easier. To disintegrate, to melt, to sink into the soil and disappear, now, that would be easier still. She lay there for an age, contemplating a world without her, cleansed of her presence, and she, freed from the cares of this world. To return to her Lord, this was the relief she sought as the tears fell and moistened the ground below her.
Then came clarity, like a thousand rising suns. We were not meant to conquer the skies. We were not meant to adorn ourselves with the stars, to capture the moon. We were not meant to feast on endless success, endless happiness. We were meant to rise and fall, to be beaten, to mend our wings and soar once more. To strive, with every breath, with every beat of life, to strive to reach the skies, no matter how far away they may seem. Because of the ease we all long for – the permanent state of bliss – isn’t for this life. It is not for this mortal existence. Pleasure without pain, sunshine without storms, birth without death, celebration without suffering, is not found in worldly life. This duality, this impossible dichotomy, is what forms so much of the test of being human: how do we acknowledge the sweet? How do we deal with the bitter? And do we remember The One who decreed it all? This is the question she asks herself as she rises from her ashes, stronger, eyes brighter, ever ready to strive once more. Until her very last breath. The past has been a chaotic melange of good and bad, of tests and trials, of celebrations and successes. May we all be reminded by these events that are unfolding all around us: reminded of our purpose, reminded of our ultimate meeting with our Lord. Don’t despair when life knocks you back to earth. Just know that this is how our Lord made it. And that you were made to rise again.