The dictionary defines a journey as “a traveling from one place to another, usually taking a rather long time;” which is interesting because that is what hidayah means as well – a movement from one place to another, from one state to another. So when we say ‘Life is a journey’, it should be a constant state of guidance, of movement, from our current state to something better.
Everyone keeps talking about their journey – from their days of ignorance to how much they’ve changed, having the veils of society, culture, peer pressure being removed from them with the light of Qur’an. This would always strike a chord with me because I never felt I had that. May Allah bless my parents for they were the ones who had to go through that – they gave up music so we grew up knowing it was wrong, and even when we did have a phase where we got into it due to our company, giving it up wasn’t so hard, Alhamdulillah. They gave up bid’ahs that we hadn’t even heard of – they had to withstand the pressure from family against all odds. They brought us up teaching us seerah and stories of the sahabah, to recite the Qur’an with tajweed and to memorise it too. They stood for the haqq so that we wouldn’t have to face such distress. It is everything I would want for my child, but here is the ironic bit – listening to everyone else, I wanted a “journey” too.
Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a saint. Looking back from now, I’ve done many a thing that I wish I could forget, that I could wipe clean from my slate. And ahh, there it is: looking back from now. Which means, I have had a journey, whether I realized it or not.
Qur’an is a beautiful thing because the change is so gradual that you don’t even know it’s happening. We were repeatedly told that it will be our mirror – a concept I didn’t quite understand until the day I had a practical example. It shows you where you stand against the ultimate barometer of good and bad, right and wrong. If your heart is open to it, it allows you to make changes in your life that you wouldn’t have thought possible before. It allows you to see the bigger picture and set your priorities according to it.
Something hit me with stark clarity today – that my life is revolved around deen and Qur’an, and it was a feeling that was indescribable. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else with my life, couldn’t imagine going down any other path, and it made me realize that once you form a relationship with this Book that is so full of light and guidance and wonders and miracles, bi idhnillah there is no turning back. If Allah has brought you to a state where you can see how wrong you were before it, you have gotten the most precious gift of all: guidance.
An automatic response to being gifted is gratefulness, and to USE that gift. How do we use our hidayah? By striving to be better every day. It is a race that must be run right till the end and with full force, for we cannot see the finish line.
I wondered how I had lived my life before this – I knew the rules, but didn’t really understand them. And oh, how wonderful it is to actually understand what our Rabb wants from us! To know why we do what we do; to not be so lost in dunya that we’re falling down a hole and can’t get out.
Everybody has a journey. If we cannot accept change and remain stagnant in life, we will watch the world pass us by and leave us behind. Never despair that your journey may not seem as big or extravagant as someone else’s – you couldn’t have walked their path even if you tried. What matters now is what trail are you going to blaze?