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.
Overall, You need to work to position yourself in a place that is best for your deen. Trust that Allah knows better than His servant. Ask Allah to take you where is best for your deen and try and find happiness along the way. Sometimes, being away from a wonderful Muslim community allows you to make closer relationships with your biological family. That is what happened to me. Being driving distance to family makes a huge difference as well.
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.