I am not writing this to spite any argument but if I don’t say this, I could live with my conscience pricking me for the rest of my life. Life they say is a passing moment and everyone has different paths, stories and destinations. What I have come to learn when life take its toll on one is patience. Patience takes one from the will of Allah (SWT) to the promise of Allah (SWT). Sometimes when the road you trudge seems all up hill and the butterflies from the chrysalis remain tight in the bud, look up to Allah, make ablution, get your mat, spread your hands in prayer and supplicate. ‘O You who have believed, persevere, endure, remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful’ (Q3:200).
I was in my final year in the University when the whole world seemed upside down. I ran until I got exhausted, I read till I could read no more, I sought as if it’s the end of life. All to no avail. Who have I offended? What did I do and why do I deserve these? These were questions always on my mind. I was not just struggling with my academics but struggled financially, emotionally and morally. I was so broke I could not afford to get the necessary materials for school. In all my brokeness, I was still rebellious, even got a Mohawk hair style to suit my artistic personality. I skipped classes for rehearsal; was a clubs rat, wanted to be where everything happened. I had boyfriends and lost them easily. Nothing was working in my life and I came to the conclusion that it was either my stepmother or those witches in my fathers’ lineage. My house rent expired and I had to move into my friend’s house. She is Christian and encouraged me to read selected verses in the Bible. At a time, they were having special prayer on the mountain and I followed. Gradually! Gradually, Omo Alhaji was slipping away. Ramadan started and I decided not to travel home or fast. I sent a message to my parents about my conversion. I actually thought that would solve my myriad of problem. It did not.
For the first week I was a different person, chanting and praying loudly. Then, I had a dream, a strange, queer dream. I saw a short path with cloudy light and a longer one with darkness, full of bushes. The short one was where I started going but a woman told me to follow the one with no light. I told her I can’t because there is no light there. But then, my eyes were seemingly bulging out of my face when I saw light with stars at the end of the longer path. It didn’t really tickle my fancy as I had made up my mind but a force I couldn’t control spoke to me and asked how could I go through the path alone in darkness. Make your footsteps in the darkness and leave a print, a voice said. ' Who are you', I managed to ask, no response before she disappeared. It was a she, the voice was female. That night as I entered my room, I crossed the Rubicon. I was supposed to be sleeping but couldn’t till I started hearing voices. My mind inquired who it was, no one could hear me or answer. The voice kept praying for me, all of a sudden the name "ABDULLAHI" flashed and disappeared within a twinkle of an eye. A trance? A revelation? It didn't matter. There was a message and I had heard it clearly. I got out of it and as if that wasn’t enough, the blue wall and everything in my room became empty and turned white. Snow white. I saw myself walking in a strange cool, beautiful but whitish environment. I was all alone with no one present. It started like a mere whispering before it become audible “SUBHANALLAHI WA-ALHAMDULILLAHI WA-ALLAH ILA ILLALAHU WA-ALLAHU AKBAR”.
Then I saw people, all covered in white from head to toe, arranged line after line in fives facing the QIBLA, and an Imam that I could not really see but heard his voice. A man walked towards me and said "peace be upon you". God told me to deliver to you that "you should worship no one but Allah and Muhammad (SAW) is His messenger". He further told me to always glorify Allah (SWT) and praise Him. My room changed back to normal and no one told me to rush to perform ablution. I did Istighfar throughout till Sahur to my folks greatest astonishment! I prepared sahur and joined them in fasting. I never told anyone what I saw but that day remains indelible in my life and history. I am happy living my life as a believer because I have come to realise that nothing happens in this world without the consent of Allah (SWT). And with patience and perseverance, hardship or despair will not last forever.It is a great privilege and relief sharing this with fellow Muslims and all that seek to find the truth and the light. IHDINA SIRATAL MUSTAQEEM. Barakallahu fih as you read my story.
Ganiyah Kareem is a scientist and a make-up artist