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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

My Journey So Far

Bismillahir'Rahmanir'Rahim

It was a cold windy morning when I was told that the only person that I was close to had just passed away 3 hours earlier. My beloved mother.

I was born in Sydney, Australia to Lebanese parents. They filed for divorce when I was born so I didn’t know my father much as I was brought up by my late mother. We didn’t see much of her as she was busy working a few jobs to look after her 4 children, me being the youngest of them.

Islam was only a basic teaching within my family. When I lost my whole world (my mother) it woke me up to reality and made me realise that life was too short to waste so I begun soul searching towards the religion that I was born into but didn’t really know much about. Initially I was introduced to the teachings of Islam through my newly-married Pakistani brother-in-law. He began to influence my sister and I with the teachings of the Tabligh Jamaat. I took much interest to it, however, as time passed, I began to feel that there was something missing and that I wasn’t fully satisfied. I kept praying to Allah to show me the right way to Him. I yearned to be with someone who could guide me to Allah and His beloved Prophet (saws). Alhamdulillah, my prayers were answered and I got married to my destined partner. Although reaching marriage was a big test, it was so worthwhile and a great blessing.

I was amazed that my husband, a revert from Sikhism was into Sufism, the spiritual side of Islam. I had always been curious about Sufism despite being rather devoted to Tabligh. However, most of my Tabligh mentors kept pressuring me to marry a devoted Tablighi, so I began to appeal to my husband-to-be to take up Tabligh activities. He didn’t want to be inclined to it, so I gave up trying to persuade him to get involved in Tabligh. Back then, I was brainwashed with the mentality that anything apart from Tabligh was false and would end up being denied the true blessings of Islam.

At the beginning stages of my discovery of Sufism, I had many questions for my husband. He responded calmly urging me to take my discovery slowly. I was quite puzzled at why he always kept a picture of his shaykh and why there was much focus on him. His explanation seemed rather convincing to which he said it was out of respect that he carried his shaykh’s presence with him in the form of whatever could make him remember him and his teachings. It got to a stage where I was really impatient to discover what it was that my husband was so passionate about in his devotions that I began to do a search the internet on the practices and concepts of Sufism, particularly the Naqshbandi tariqah which my husband was adhering to.

I began to listen to some of Mawlana Shaykh Hisham Kabbani’s (who is the son-in-law of the leading Shaykh of the Naqshbandi tariqah, Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Haqqani) suhbas (spiritual discourses) and gradually I accepted the tariqah. I began to have the yearning to be initiated into it but it seemed that there was no way I could reach anyone who had a connection with the Shaykh as we were isolated in Australia without much finances to travel to his place of residence in Cyprus.


Subhanallah, it seems that when intention is in place and patience is kept, Allah fulfils your wants. My husband received a surprising e-mail from a brother from Melbourne (about 800k from where we live) who was a Wakil (representative) of Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and had permission to accept bai’at (initiation) into the tariqah. We travelled to Melbourne just to meet him, however, the initiation did not take place as there were some complications. A month later, the wakil came to Sydney to visit and I had the chance to finally be initiated into the Naqshbandi Sufi Path being connected to Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Haqqani.

I look back now at what I’ve been through and think to myself that it is indeed Allah’s guidance and blessings that has rained upon me and given me this great connection to my spiritual guide Mawlana Shaykh Nazim Haqqani.

May Allah Ta’ala bless Mawlana Shaykh Nazim and accept us all in the Divine Presence. Ameeeeeeeeeeen!

wassalam
Aaisha

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