So here I am stuck between two worlds. Why has teaching Deen become so complicated for me? Why could it just be like it used to be? For those of you who are Islamic educators, has this happened to you?.. You come to class motivated and ready, you give off your best only to return home spiritually unfulfilled.
We ask ourselves the question, “If I am making the sacrifice teaching Islam to my community, why am I lacking in spirituality?” How is it that while I am teaching that I am losing roohaniyyah (spirituality)? I cannot be seeking it in the wrong place because to impart deeni knowledge (knowledge of Islam) is one of the best things on can ever do. Or is it that the place is right, but not the intentions or reasons? Any teacher of Deen will tell you that we all face this crisis at some time in our lives.
One has to be hard on oneself to a certain degree because if we just go on and not check ourselves, we become complacent with giving half of what is required of us. Who said the path of Deen would be easy to tread? The Ambiyaa (Alyhimus Salam), Sahaabah (radiyallahu ‘anhum) and all those who preached toward this beautiful Deen went through difficulties and they lived in a time far better than we do now. So these are our tests. The teacher of Deen or any person trying to come closer to Allah experiences tougher tests, the nearer to Allah he becomes. As Allah mentions in the Qur-aan “Do you think that you will enter Jannah without facing the same as what came to those who passed away before you? They experienced suffering and adversity. They were shaken until the Messenger of Allah and those who believed together with him said ‘When is the help of Allah coming?’ Behold! Surely Allah’s help is near”.
To achieve the ultimate goal, we will definitely be tested but let us seek help through sabr (patience) and salaah (prayer).
Subhaanallah! Realisation has dawned upon me. Teaching Deen was never meant to be easy and care-free. It is a serious amaanah (trust), one filled with stress and fikr (worry and concern). Teaching Deen is a full time job because we are not just Aalims in madrasah, we are the same out of madrasah. A true Mu’allimah is never content with her character or actions. She is always striving to be the best she can be sincerely for Allah and to be a role model to her students. Sprituality is not something your’e born with or developed overnight. It’s something that takes years to perfect and evn when you reach what you perceive as perfect, it is far from perfect as insaan has not the ability to be perfect. That is for Allah alone. We may strive for years and yet with one act of heedlessness, it can can all be undone! There is always taubah, but we pray to Allah so that we may not fail our tests with HIM. Indeed we are weak.
Spirituality is like a seed that we plant. We nurture it until it grows into a fruit-yielding tree. The fruit it shall yield is and the manner it will grow depends entirely on how we nurture it. Likewise our souls sometimes lack spirituality because of our lack of nurturing it. There are many clad in Islamic garb yet they are spiritually dead. And Allah alone is the ultimate judge. I love this quote from sister Yasmin Mogahed… “Why do we get tired on the path to God? Because we try to fight too many battles. Fight just one and the rest won’t be a battle. Fight to keep your heart facing Allah and everytime it faces another direction… Bring it back!”
The year ahead seems quite a blur. What I do know is that everyday Allah gives you and I another chance to turn our hearts towards HIM. To reach “that” goal, to fulfil “that” purpose, to make “that” difference. May Allah guide me and those who feel the way I do.