Coping with My Return from Syria

A sister’s insight on dealing with the aftermath of her trip to Syria.

Days turn to weeks and weeks into months since our return from Turkey/Syria.
Will life ever be the same? Did my mind leave Syria with me, our is it still there? Can I be ‘normal’ again?
No! How can it? How can we go back to frivolous spending and time wasting? Our Mothers and Sisters are suffering unimaginable pain and displacement.

Sleep eludes me and mundane things sends my mind flying to my sister’s plight at similar events. Visiting the bathroom at 2am makes me wonder at her difficulty to do the same in a refugee camp. Wondering what to cook for my family saddens me to think she doesn’t have that luxury. Luxuries she once also enjoyed. Taking a hot shower and conditioning my hair leaves me guilty of such pleasures.

I find myself getting angry with my children’s unnecessary demands. Constantly lecturing them about the children I met who had nothing. Attending a nikaah and walimah left me grieving at the loss and violation of my young sister’s lives in Syria and the sacrifice the young men are making, denying themselves the joys of nikaah for the reward of Shahaadah.

Did I think my trip would have such an effect on me? No, I never thought of anyone as constantly as I think of my sisters now. I went about life knowing about the wars, and natural disasters around the world. But never did it hit so close to reality. Was it complacency or is it just ‘out of sight-out of mind’?

Its been weeks since our return and I ask myself “What have I done?”. I know their plight, but what am I doing about it? Why is this feeling of helplessness engulfing me? Why am I not putting this emotion into action? Is it depression? Or is it the usual Shaitaani thoughts that says ‘its too much for one person to change!’.

But then I consciously rip myself from these waswasaa (bad thoughts) and focus on using these feelings positively. How Great is my Allah that even through difficulty we can find ease? How beautiful is this Deen that answers my bleeding heart with answers to endless difficult moments. I turn this pain into power, SubhaanAllah.

Every blessing that I enjoy, I use it as an opportunity to give thanks to Allah for these ni‘am (bounties). With every request from my children, I feel blessed that I am able to fulfill them and also educate my children in adopting simplicity and staying away from wastefulness and extravagance. In the presence of family and happiness of family functions, I am eternally grateful for the love and unity we share. And in every moment I constantly make du‘a for the families I left behind. Alhamdullillah. For undoubtedly the best gift you can give anyone is your du‘a and your concern for them.

I am determined to make positive changes in my life that I have been putting off. I want to be the change I want to see, In-shaa-Allah. I want to paint a picture of my family in Shaam for others to see and want to be a part off. We have to unite for one purpose alone. We are an Ummah, in spiritual, emotional and financial need of each other.

We are the heart that asks of Allah, the hands that work towards their aid, the feet that stand in prayer (salaah), begging of Allah’s Mercy and assistance. We are the mind that make positive and concerted efforts to bring change in our lives. We need to go back the basics of Deen (religion), Imaan (faith) and Akhlaaq (character). We need to go back to the Qur-aan and Sunnah to find the answers to solutions for the Ummah. In-shaa-Allah. Back to the Glory days of Islam.

We are after all ‘Ashraful Makhlooqaat’, the Best of Creation. So let us live up to that title.

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