When I began to practice Islam, I couldn’t pray Salah (obligatory prayer). The idea of formally praying was daunting. I didn’t see myself praying in the formal sense. I started my pursuit toward Islam by making small commitments. I read the Quran (in English) every night before I went to bed. I lifted my hands toward the dingy ceilings of my bedroom, the room that I’ve spent the entirety of my childhood in and now the first half of my adulthood. I believed that these small practices were enough.
And I was right; at that point in my life, they were just what I needed. When people are approaching a life a spirituality, we often throw many things at them all at once. We fill their heads with unattainable expectations, and we forget that we were once at a beginning point. My small acts of devotion were good stepping stones to my spiritual development.
These are the rules I live by. I believe in the power of consistency. I think about who I was at the point in which I started my pursuit toward spirituality. I knew I believed in a supreme force, I just wasn’t sure about the way that I wanted approach it all. I spent time analyzing different traditions and finally came back to Islam. I wasn’t sure where to begin, so I promised myself that I wouldn’t go to sleep without reading the Quran that I had got from Barnes and Noble.
I was 13 years old, reading an older translation of the Quran. Trying my absolute best to understand the tongue-tying, almost Shakespearean English that was laid out in front of me every night. I had limited my spiritual practice to this nightly vigil. I didn’t even want to think about praying. The thought of Salah made my stomach turn because I was afraid of this commitment.
When people are approaching a life a spirituality, we often throw many things at them all at once. We fill their heads with unattainable expectations, and we forget that we were once at a beginning point.
This month’s Dua:
Oh Allah, peel away the seal of sorrow from our hearts, adorn our spirits with flowers from Your garden, and usher us into the vastness of Your mercy. Ameen.
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