From someone who had a promising career to a ‘nothing’
(Note: This post is taken from one of our newsletters that we have been mailing to our subscribers. If you like what you read here, do subscribe by going to our home page)
The first month when I made the decision to walk away from a promising career, it was all good. I felt great about my choice, I had a lot of time to spend with my baby and family; everybody envied me. And then the second and third month came. And then suddenly the routine got too boring. I didn’t talk to anyone other than my husband for days at times. Suddenly my friends were too busy to remember me. Suddenly, I was a nobody.
At the end of 2012, I had the letter from my superiors already in my hands, the letter that told me that I was due to hold a more important position, and yet, due to circumstances, I had to turn it down. I had to stop work to take care my my daughter, who was only two then, because we were going overseas for my husband to further his studies.
At that time, it seemed like a good idea.
But I became a stay-at-home mom at the young age of 26, when my peers were still single and enjoying life, not tied down to a baby and a house to upkeep, and suddenly, I didn’t know what to do anymore. I thought of my days as boring and unfulfilling – mornings consisted of a messy breakfast, playground and groceries runs, while afternoons were dedicated to cleaning and cooking as my toddler slept. I loved it, but I was also looking through Facebook photos of my friends taking their Masters, jetting off to holidays that we now couldn’t afford due to the lack of income, and suddenly, what I had wasn’t so great.
It didn’t help that during the day, I also only had the company of a two-year-old (all my 20-plus-year-old friends were at work) and by evening, I couldn’t go out because well… bedtime for the toddler. I felt trapped. I felt like I was imprisoned in this lifestyle.
I doubted all the decisions that led me to this stage. I cried. I blamed my husband. I blamed myself. I blamed fate.
I cried so hard that one night I couldn’t sleep at all. And so, at about 4am – remembering briefly one of my ustazahs saying that if you’ve been woken up at night, it means you’ve been chosen to perform tahajjud – I took wudhuk, spread my prayer mat and prayed and cried, cried and prayed. I told Allah everything that was in my heart and I asked Him to help give me a better purpose in life.
And then, somehow, my heart was moved to touch the Quran and I flipped it and got to a random page. The first verse that I read was, ‘And He giveth you of all that ye ask for.But if ye count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude. (Surah İbrahim, 34)’
Allah…. It was surely no coincidence that the verse was the first one I happened to read that lonely, quiet night. Immediately my mind flashed back to all the favours and bounties that Allah had given me up till that point, and suddenly I felt like such an ungrateful servant.
You see, sometimes when we are sad or angry, we can only think of all the bad things that have befallen us; we can hardly recall the good times in such moments.
I have since learned that it takes conscious effort on my part to actually say “Alhamdulillah” when I have been afflicted with a seemingly ‘bad’ thing and to recall all the gifts that I have been given, so that I won’t be inclined to say “Why? Why me?”
Looking back, had I not been in such a situation, had I still been employed and earning a fat paycheck, I wouldn’t have started MuslimParents.SG. I wouldn’t have had the time to re-learn Quran. I wouldn’t have had the energy to teach my daughters how to read and write myself.
Looking back, Allah’s plans were way greater than mine. And yet, at that point of time when I was drowned in sorrow and doubt, I had no faith that my life would become better.
How many of you, dear sisters and brothers, are facing this situation? Where you are stuck in a place which seemed impossible to get out of? Where you have lost the thing that you love most – whether it is a good job, a fancy house or freedom to do whatever you want?
I can tell you this. Allah has something even greater in store for you. Have faith in that.
Make this du’a – Oh Allah, please replace whatever you’ve taken away from me with something better, for you know my affairs best.
Amin, amin, amin.
Counselling for couples and family in crisis
If you or your family are going through tough times or transitioning to a new phase in life, it can cause confusion and anxiety in your children or even yourself.
We may be able to help.
Our counsellor, Sufian Hanafi, specialises in psychoeducation and low-intensity psychotherapies, and provides Individual, Couple and Family consultations and counselling sessions.
To book an appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just start with ‘Assalaamualaikum’ when you send in an enquiry, so that you can be identified as having been referred through MuslimParents.SG!
Hari Raya Haji is coming up, and this is the last week to make your orders for Korban!
Earlier this year, our partner performed Aqiqah in the community, and the meat was given to the local mosque. According to their firsthand account, the meat was cooked and everyone in the community was invited to eat. Even the non-Muslims were given a portion, to show that Islam is a religion that promotes peace and generosity.
On top of that, part of the proceeds from the Korban this year will be used to help repair a local madrasah, the Zamboanga Madrasah, and provide them with some food supplies.
All your orders will be much appreciated! 🙂 We will stop all orders on 3rd August.