Assalam Alaikum GrowMama Sisters,
I recently reconnected with some dear family friends via email. We both had to relocate for work related reasons from a large and vibrant Muslim community. I shared our exchange with some fellow GMG moms and they thought it would be beneficial to share with our online community.
Our friends write:
Good hearing from you, how are you and the family? And how do you like it where you are? Have you guys adapted yet? We’re still struggling a bit here. The Muslim community here is nice but we miss the spirituality and the energy of our previous community.
And I wrote back:
I hear your sentiments about not feeling settled and missing “vibrant community life.” It takes a few years in a new community to feel like you belong and for the community to get used to you as one of the usual families. It has been four years and I only now feel like I’m somewhat at ease here.
After much reflection, the truth is that Allah takes us places to serve Him and or learn things about ourselves. I have come to realize that in my earlier years of life, I was very dependent on others to feel the presence of Allah SWT in my life. Feeling alone forced me to develop a stronger relationship/dependency on my Lord. I also learned to find spiritual happiness in other things. Happiness in things that make me feel close to Allah. I love to run on mountain trails, enjoy the morning deer in my yard, spend time with my husband and the kids discovering a new city/museum close by. I just bought a new bike and I am teaching my daughter how to roller blade. I love to watch my kids play hoops with their father. These things are good acts of worship that make me feel closer to Allah SWT.
Of course, I also, teach at Islamic school, help run youth sessions, spend time with the sisters at mixers, attend community events etc. But that does not always leave me with a comforted heart. It’s my duty as a Muslim and that is the intention I make. I am happiest when I come home to a quiet cup of tea and a good telephone conversation with a dear sister or a biological family member. I also feel socially connected and emotionally happy when I listen to an Islamic webinar. I remember once, our previous community was holding a qiyam for the people of Libya. I watched by webcam and prayed with them in my own home at 2 am. It was a very special night for me. There are many paths to feel spiritual energy.
Strangely, I am happier now in my life than I have ever been. I live in a beautiful, low crime, cow grazing, small town in a comfortable, affordable, modest home. Most extra-curricular activities like skating, skiing, horseback riding, boating are reasonably priced. The kids have a simple Muslim community experience. We travel to big cities for camps and conferences. We love road trips. We try and visit a Muslim family along the way. My husband and I do a lot of the Islamic tarbiyya at home. It happens to be a very good family time activity. I’ve noticed that family time is a lost commodity in larger cities with many distractions.
I have learned that family time does not equal community time. They are different, and each needs it due. While my children are young alhamdulilah this is a good place for us. Who knows, maybe we were sent out here to raise our kids with a different outlook for a very special service to Allah SWT. I don’t knowwhy I’m here but for now, I’m going to enjoy my neighbors, the horse fields down the road, the sunrise from my bedroom window and a cup of tea on my deck while the crickets chirp…
I hope this was a good enough pep talk for you hang in there, seasonal depression is real…but spring makes it all worth while
Allah is everywhere. Call on Him.
I will pray for your happiness and spiritual energy where ever Allah places you.
Fee Amanillah. See you after winter inshaAllah.