You are the journey that I never knew I needed to take. A lost soul, drowning in the bitterness of days that left me empty, the heartbreak that left me cold and a vision of the woman I wanted to be, blurred and out of focus.
When I think of it now, it was like intricate pieces of a beautifully crafted puzzle, slowly slotting together in perfect placement. I asked and you always answered. There was never a time when my curiosity was met with confusion. Like a judge, I would ruthlessly interrogate you, but there you were, each and every time I dared to question.
Your truth became the light, a beautiful, sacred light upon light, extending in radiance far and wide. After years of hiding beneath the shadows of yesterday, of looking back and wondering why it all seemed so dark, I looked upon that boundless glow and finally I could see.
You and I, we would sit, in the still of night, like friends getting to know one another. I was shy and unfamiliar but you gave me strength. You taught me how to be in this transient world, how to hold myself with grace when those around me turned their back. You taught me how to think beyond the stars and the unfolding of day after day. The need to find and be an eternal source of peace. You told me how healing that would be, from the deepest wounds to hands outstretched, you told me I was never alone. This mattered. It always mattered.
You gave me guidance, a reassurance that everything we do is for a far greater purpose than I could ever imagine. You gave me the promise of a place to be, a place where beautiful rivers will flow, where milk will taste of honey and only love and compassion reside. You held my hand, embraced me in all my fragility and told me You would show me the way.
You’ve surrounded me with the most wonderful companions. I know they came from you because they stand steady and firm. In a restless world, they are calm, their hearts hold your words like a precious gift and on the tip of their tongue is the remembrance of you.
You’ve helped me to grow through many storms, broken me down to raise me up. You’ve given me a reason to look out at the world and embrace the difference we see. You’ve taught me that we are one, we are nations and tribes that should know one another.
You have no place for hate and you teach me there’s no need to fear. Even through the darkest days, when hope fades and hearts are hurting, when people lay their heads to rest in your comfort, I know that you are there. No matter the force of the wind, your shield protects, your light will not extinguish, not for me.
You aren’t just close, nor just beside, you are within, like a lamp, burning from the oil of your deeply rooted tree. I feel your warmth in my core, even when the world looks on with bitter eyes. I am glad that I know you. My friend, my Islam.