Teen Perspective, a column on Muslim teen issues
December 2002

New LIfe, New Beginnings

by Shezena T. Mohammed

Siraj Haniph Mohammed, the newest addition to Shezena's family
Siraj Haniph Mohammed, the newest addition to Shezena's family.

On October 28th, 2002 at 8:20 on a hot Florida night, my family and I received the newest addition to our family, Siraj Haniph Mohammed. He was just beautiful and I could only imagine how pure he was. The forty hour labor was hard and tiring for my mother but in the utter silence in the moments after his birth all seemed to to be right. As my father picked up my new baby brother and called the azzan in his ear, the crack in my father's voice from the tears running down his cheeks would make even doves cry. He was our gift from Allah SWT and one we know from experience that we take for granted all too often. He came just in time for Ramadan when most of us usually start counting our blessings and come to realize just how many we have.

I think a lot of times we go through life just focusing on the negative and not paying any attention to the positive even though the majority of our lives is made of positive experiences. I don't think many of us realize that it is hard to see the light when you are facing toward the shadow. It is only human nature to notice what we don't have more than what we do but we must make an effort to be grateful. We cannot only notice our blessings when we don't have them anymore, we must be grateful now. It can be easy to go through life just focusing on the bad and thereby forget what we have to be grateful to Allah SWT for but I guess that's why with every experience there is a chance to learn and correct ourselves. There are so many people who have so much less than us, but we still manage to find something to complain about. Soon we will be fresh out of Ramadan and the memories of Eid in our thoughts. I know that most of us could do much more to better ourselves in this next year.

The thoughts of our past may overwhelm and haunt us and we may not even want to think about the day when we meet our Lord but ignoring it will only make it worse. Some people might even assume that from what they have done before, they will never be able to redeem themselves in front of Allah SWT. It says in the Quran over and over again that Allah SWT is most forgiving, most merciful. No matter what we do it is never to late to start practicing Islam and do what is right. It is said that only after the sun has risen from the west Allah SWT will not forgive anyone anymore. That has not yet happened, there is still time to change ourselves for the better. If we always gave up on everything we would never get anywhere but we must not give up on Islam and we don't have to give up on ourselves. There is always another chance to remember who we are and to practice Islam. Just as my new brother is now, we can start fresh again and begin a better life for ourselves no matter young, old, innocent or guilty we are.

"Just as my new brother is now, we can start fresh again and begin a better life for ourselves"
"Just as my new brother is now, we can start fresh and begin a better life for ourselves..."

It is never too late for a new life and new beginnings. It is never too late to be pure and good again. Just as anything else in life though, it will take a lot of willpower on our parts. It is hard to change no matter what it is, but we must; our next life depends on it. It is definitely possible to change. If we want to do this, we will be able to. There is a hadeeth that says if you walk towards Allah SWT, Allah SWT will run towards you. With that kind of help from Allah SWT nothing can hold us back. This is how we need to be in our deen - unstoppable.

Now is the perfect time to start on our journey towards perfection of the heart. The end of Ramadan is near or has just come and we are now replenished by this last month. Even if we don't see its effects, they are there. Most people have probably seen an increase in their iman. With this boost in your heart now is a good time to start.

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