Not all who wander are lost

I’ve sat through many convert/revert gatherings where a once-lost-now-found soul would retell their journey to Islam and describe the “indescribable feeling” of finding a spiritual home. I genuinely appreciated the sentiment, but never could fully relate to the immobilizing peace my brethren had found through the pages of the Qu’ran or in a mosque.

Maybe I have a wandering mind, or maybe my curiosity and nafs [ego] get the best of me, but I cannot fathom belief as a constence. Yet, I am Muslim.

I am Muslim in that I believe there is One Divine Creator worthy of worship and I believe Mohammad was one of the messengers sent to humankind to deliver guidance…

…but do I believe every word in the Qu’ran was transcribed and interpreted per The Divine’s intentions? No.

…do I believe I should live my life exactly per the example of Prophet Mohammad — a MAN who lived at a time (600 AC) and place (Makkah) completely unrecognizable from my own (2022, Turtle Island, aka: North America, more specifically Canada)? Also, no.

I’ve experienced certain aspects of traditional Muslim rituals per North African, Middle Eastern, and South Asian interpretations and… I‘ve certainly experienced the good AND bad of it.

That’s not to say that I don’t also recognize the good and bad of Anglo-Saxon pseudo-Judeo-Christian rituals and mores as well…

So I *am* Muslim, but maybe not the Muslim you should look to for guidance and steadfastness.

The only rule I follow when it comes to belief, faith, and spirituality is to believe in A Divine Creator that is All Merciful, All Compassionate. A Creator who knows that I am on a spiritual journey. Who accepts that I give myself and my ego perhaps more grace than fellow believers would have me do. Who also recognizes that I still feel an attachment to Islam despite the nay-sayers. I believe in A Divine that welcomes me, and anyone else, regardless of the path we chose to get there.

As I look at myself in the mirror today, on Eid ul-Fitr, having prayed for the first time this morning in about a year, after choosing not to fast Ramadan to focus on reclaiming my body post-partum and post-breastfeeding… I don’t see the girl who began this spiritual journey to Islam more than a decade ago.

As I journey towards my 10th Muslimah-versary — more isolated from community than ever due to the pandemic, having a young family, and seeing friends grow, move, and/or go their own ways — I find myself wondering what spiritual direction I will instil in my son and, God willing [inshaAllah], future children.

I hope they get a sense of curiosity about The Divine. I hope their minds and hearts remain open always to both the possibility that something/someone greater than themselves wants them to succeed and the responsibility to believe in their own and others’ potential for good and compassion.

It is without a doubt that I find myself a little bit… spiritually aimless, currently. I have no particular interest in engaging with particular fervour towards my faith, but I still find myself called to BE Muslim.

The truth, or at least my truth, lies somewhere between absolutes and nothingness. A vagabond between devotion and doubt.

I feel a certain peace in knowing that while I’m not exhorting much effort, my faith isn’t going anywhere. It is in a state of stillness.

As a new-ish mom, in these times of turmoil and great uncertainty, I’m somewhat grateful that I have a belief system that allows me to be uncomfortable with the world as it is currently without demanding that I cut ties with The Divine.

I am not a “lost soul” but if even I were?Sometimes, one has to be willing to get lost in order to find the way.

3 thoughts on “Not all who wander are lost

  1. Cool I appreciate Muslims being open and not afraid of sounding different from the norm. Wasn’t that the spirit of the original Muslims?

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    1. I try to remember that often what we hear from fellow Muslims isn’t necessarily “the norm” so much as it is whomever speaks loudest. But yes, I agree with you: the way I interpret what I know of Islam and the early Muslims, philosophical and moral questions were discussed openly. The focus was on building a relationship with The Divine and less of a one-way ritual-building subservient relationship where we do things for God and hope, sometimes in vain, for something in return.

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    2. Yeah exactly, when you love Allah things all begin to make sense. It starts there. You praying, how He withholds, how He gives, things begin to make sense. When the prophet’s wife asked him why he prayed so much during the night when he was already promised Paradise and all that, he replied about being grateful. It really is all about love. Not just about getting something in return, but love. And even speaking of “getting something in return”, what’s better than that relationship where you receive and express love? Doing optional things shows extra love. We also learn that Allah says if people keep doing optional good deeds for Him, He begins to love them even more, so much so that He becomes the hearings which which he hears, the sight with which he sees, etc. That’s love. It all begins to make sense because we will start to see His purpose is love. A parent out of wisdom and love gives and withholds sometimes from their kids. The difference between parents and kids is smaller compared to the difference between Him and us. When we realize it’s all about love, we begin to mature and not lose our religion when we don’t get prayers apparently answered or if things happen in the world we don’t like to see. And we’ll have the momentum to persist in the darkest of times. Sorry for the long comment, I like the topic.

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