I've noticed something about myself that I'm pretty dismayed about. Often, I get so caught up thinking about the state of the Muslim Ummah, about the problems of the world, that I spend more time worrying about that than focusing on what I should really be paying attention to - myself.
Sometimes it's harder to focus on yourself and your own faults than those of others. It's easy to criticize others, to point out their problems, and be able to say to yourself smugly, "I know exactly how to solve these problems!"
But it is so much harder to turn that criticism to yourself and admit that you aren't doing as much as you should be, that you aren't practicing Islam to your utmost best.
So, I decided to do a little self-evaluating. How good of a Muslimah am I? Am I really trying to implement what I know of Islam? What are things that I should work on?
The results made me cringe and want to hide under my bead in shame. As a general rule, I think I do okay. But further scrutinity reveals that there is a lot I need to work on.
First and foremost, salaah (prayer): It is the one thing that I have the most difficult time with.
Which is pretty embarassing. After all, salaah is the second pillar of Islam, one of the most important parts of Islam.
However, my problem is not so much performing the prayer physically, as spiritually. It's so easy stand, bow, and prostrate, to rattle off the Qur'anic ayaat and the various supplications of Salaah. It is much more difficult to really focus on what you're saying, understanding what you're saying, and actually feeling it.
When I'm tired, or grumpy, or even just eager to go do something else, it's so easy to rush through the salaah, performing the actions and letting my tongue utter the words while I'm really thinking about something else and just trying to get it over with so that I can go do whatever it is I want to do.
There are times when I do feel the salaah, when I do try to perform it correctly - spiritually as well as physically - but the times that I rush through it are far more than the occasions when I feel that I've really done it.
Sometimes, in mid-rush, I realize that what I'm doing is wrong, and I'll slow down and try to concentrate, but in my head I'll still be wanting to just get it over with... and then I feel guilty, 'cuz does that mean I'm not a really good Muslim? I do try, but what do other actions count when you aren't really fulfilling the spiritual goal of salaah?
Even in Ramadan, when you know it's the month of mercy and blessings, when every salaah counts more at this time than it does during the rest of the year... it's still hard for me. I'm too impatient, that's the problem!
Man, being a teenage Muslimah can be really tough... 'cuz on one hand I know a lot of stuff, I know what I should be doing to become a better Muslimah and all, but on the other hand, sometimes I just don't feel like doing it, and there's that nasty little voice saying, "Just pray your fardh and you've done what you have to! Now let's go do something fun!"
Does anyone else have this problem? Pleeeeeeeaaaaaaase tell me that I'm not alone in this... otherwise I will die of shame.
Impatience is what seems to be the root of the problem. Maybe I can attribute it to my youthfulness, maybe I can't... but I like to be on the go, always doing something to keep my hands, and at the very least my mind, occupied. It's hard for me to focus on my 'inner self' and reflect on myself internally and all that stuff. I find spirituality to be difficult. It's hard to sit down, close my eyes, and just... think or feel. The few times I've tried doing that, I either get bored and wander off to do something else, or I start getting sleepy and yawning.
So what do you think? Do you think is just a phase that all teenagers go through, or do I need to do some major self-disciplining and spirital exercising?
Hurry up and tell me, because I'm in agony over it!!!
Your agitated little sister in Islam,
Tuesday, October 10, 2006
Posted by AnonyMouse at 10:46 AM