I wrote this letter in response to a beautiful description of the two marathons and one race that this young muslim woman ran after fajr several cities away from hers, and did very well Alhamdollilah.
My dear N,
It was a pleasure to read your inspiring account of your marathons, your prayers and your jihad with your Nafs, and your early morning travels. Thank you for sharing them with me.
Inshallah this Jihad e Nafs will be successful if the goal is eventually to be directed to the Path of Happiness, which is the Path of Allah Subhanawataala
Prophet Muhammad said pick one good thing and do it consistently and then pick a second. Alhamdollillah in all these years of running and your self-discipline to prepare for it, you have demonstrated consistency.
In reading your narration of your early am departures to another city to join a marathon, I am reminded that not many women in the world can travel independently at 3 am in the morning, leave alone run unaccompanied or unchaperoned by family in a strange and new city, and remain unmolested and without being accosted by the bad elements of society. You are truly blessed!
This in my opinion is not only a blessing of where Allah Subhanawataala has placed you geographically but also that He has given you personal protection in a place where a woman is violated every minute of the day (as per American statistics on rape).
So my prayer of thanks to Allah Subhanawataala is for protecting you wherever you go and may he provide the Angels for your safety in all you do.
Many times children are successful in their worldly affairs and feel that it is only by the dint of their own effort. Most certainly what you have done is by the consistent strengthening of your inner self against your Nafs (The Nafs basically wants you to while away your life in eating, sleeping and the hedonistic pursuits of life) and thus Allah Subhanawataala has helped you every step of the way and more when you became obedient to him in remembering not only one salaah but all five.
He (Subhanawataala) says if you take one step towards Him He will take ten towards you.
My prayer of thanks to Him for blessing you with success in your goals of running.
Prophet Muhammad pbuh said that one of the most potent prayers and one that is immediately given audience and granted at the optimum time is: the prayer of the parent, the prayer of the traveler and the prayer of the oppressed.
So when you travel to these marathon sites, please keep my family and me in your prayers.
There are so many women who aspire for the position you have attained, and they may have same or even better attributes than you but have not fulfilled the goals that you have Alhamdollillah!……….I am told the difference is Dua.
Your father tells me that he prays on a regular basis for his children. Thus I observe that all three of you are doing well in this world and have been protected from any major physical or mental catastrophe. I am confidant that your mother also prays for you all and perhaps it is their prayers that have warded off the “Bala’s “ from your life, some that you may not even be aware of.
So I would love for you to pray for your parents and be respectful and obedient to them unless they ask you to leave your Deen or distract you from it. For that is surely the most harmonious path in this world and brings the promise of the Gardens in the Hereafter.
MashaAllah your idea of running for a cause is wonderful, and is a sadaqa of your body as well as a sadaqa e jariya with what you raise. Prophet Muhammad pbuh said that we should give sadaqa of each joint every day; this can be done by acts of kindness, words and deeds.
I know that politics is your thing, but politics change with time, the one thing that does not change and every human being and living thing craves is the feeling of peace.
Thus even before we wish joy for a loved one, we first wish for peace, because joy is not lasting without peace.
So the exhilaration, love, happiness and joy that you feel when you run and when you accomplish your goal, do share that in your everyday life with others, and make dua for them that they too get the peace they crave.
Muslims shower peace on each other just by uttering their salutation of “Asalaam o alaikum” May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon you” What a lovely gift you can give to others and receive effortlessly so many times a day.
You can share the essence of peace easily with everyone you meet, see and exchange words with. You will see the world change around you as you do this consistently.
You drive the airport bus and people from all over the world come to ride with you. The weary, the irritated the disgusted the exhausted, and the sad, you can bring a moment of peace to them too.
Give them a smile, a mint, a salaam and perhaps if you have the guts, wear hijab to work and give the nonverbal message of peace, just with your sweet smile, politeness and consideration. Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him said, “Smile is a charity” what an easy charity to give!
Contrary to what the American media says, in my polling new hijabis, when a woman dons hijab, people actually become sympathetic, kind, chivalrous and polite. They feel the aggressor is the Muslim man who is making this “poor woman” wear hijab.
Allah Subhanawataala has given the Muslim women of America a special window of time where they can open the door of dawah by donning the hijab and as an American man or woman opens the door for her out of respect, pity or chivalry, give them the message of Allah verbally or non verbally just by smiling and reflecting harmony and peace in your demeanor.
Finally I pray that :
Allah Subhanawataala give you peace, health, safety, happiness and a focus towards His path for that is where true happiness lies.
May He reward you for your efforts of dawah and for fulfilling His rights and being grateful for all that He has given you and protected you from overtly or covertly.
Thank you for sharing your inspiring moments in, before and after the marathons and races, I wish I were there with you.
With lots of love,
Your Aunt A