It wouldn’t be right for me to say that as a Muslim woman living in America, I am unaffected by Trump’s presidency.
I wish I was stronger in my faith to not let it phase me at all. But it did, QadrAllah wa Masha fa’ala. As the world watches the first 100 days of the new administration, I came to the realization that being discriminated is not a new problem I face as a Muslim.
When the travel ban unfolded, I was glued to YouTube News sources (as we do not own a television set) to get the latest updates. At first, I just rolled my eyes thinking, “yet another act of hatred towards the Muslimeen,” But as the story progressed about families being stopped at the airport and even green card holders being rejected from entering, I started to feel upset and betrayed. I myself am a green card holder and a law-abiding resident here in the United States. I have to say, sometimes I find myself even more law abiding then some citizens, Alhamdulillah. As far as I understand, this green card signifies that I have an agreement that I will not harm others and they will not harm me as I reside here.
As the story continued, I felt like I was a target for doing nothing wrong.
I withdrew myself into my home and I didn’t feel safe outside. Even though nothing in my daily life had changed. At the same time, many Americans took to the streets to protect the ban. Even Muslim women. Though protesting is a large part of the fabric of American culture, I don’t believe in it either. I continued to watch the news for weeks, both upset about the new administration’s action and at the same time, displeased with the Muslim American’s reaction. Though I believe in being a safe resident anywhere in the world, I also believe as a Muslim, it’s always better to live in a Muslim country if its safe and if you can afford to (which is a story for a different day).
May Allah guide us all.
At the very same time, I had gotten news of my childhood mosque being set on fire by an arson. To see a place I grew up in and a mosque set in flames this way really broke my heart. Though I saw that people were so supportive and generous and were quick to refute the act, it was still remorseful to see it happen in the first place.
As the weeks went by, nothing seemed to improve, both in the administration and in my mood. I started to reflect more. As the chaos was erupting on the news, and I was closely following it, my daily life changed from centering around my deen to (what I felt was) nothingness. My daily reading had completely decreased. My listening to lectures and seeking knowledge had greatly lessened. My progress of learning arabic had halted. And for what?
A couple days ago, I listened to a class about Al-Inaabah.
Al-Inaabah is an act of worship that includes repentance as well as turning back to Allah in our lives with obedience.
It struck home to me. My heart was so absorbed in the news and what was going on around me, that I had not neglected to center my days around the One who controlled everything that was happening and the One that could keep me safe from harm.
It was a harsh awakening. But Alhamdulillah for it. We all go through ups and downs in our life and we ask Allah to keep us steadfast in seeking His face.