By: Sundus Alsharif
Have you ever been in a situation where you keep allowing people to hurt you, and even though you promise yourself that this time will be different, it almost always never is? Why does this happen? It happens because we give people expectations that they weren’t meant to carry. People are inherently good, but they are also prone to mistakes, and shortcomings. When something bad happens, we are quick to get mad at people--instead of looking deeper at ourselves and Allah’s role in it all.
Of course, if people do something that isn’t just, they need to be held accountable, but at the end of the day, how do we deal with the emotional side effects of the bad things that happen to us? Do we decide to hold grudges against the people who wronged us, or do we use it as an opportunity to grow and figure out what Allah is trying to tell us? The second option is the best for our personal growth, and, more importantly, our ultimate salvation. I have a personal story that very much relates to the topic at hand.
My sister is disabled and she has often felt very out of place in some masajid because she doesn’t wear hijab due to her epilepsy--and a lot of sisters--not knowing any better and just trying to help--ask her to wear hijab--sometimes nicely, and other times not so nicely. I always let them know that she can’t wear hijab due to her disability, and they are usually very understanding, but it doesn’t change how my sister feels when these ladies who do not even know her sometimes approach her with a rude tone. Why does this matter? About two weeks ago, I was at the masjid with my sister, and this young girl with down syndrome came inside and literally raced toward my sister. She's never met her before. The girl's mom came over and tried to pull her away saying that her daughter always disturbs people. I looked her in the eyes and told her it's okay, that my sister has special needs too, and she can play with my sister and rest on her as much as she likes.
I know that this event was as much a sign for my sister as it was for me, because I have avoided the masjid for feeling like I don’t belong at times too. Allah was showing me, literally, that if I come to His house for His sake--He will provide a way for me and my sister to feel like we belong. That sign was shown to me so plainly, and so beautifully, that I knew for a fact that it was straight from Allah. As Muslims, we need to give each other more excuses when we make mistakes and realize that no matter what, if we come to Allah, He will always have our back. It’s when we forget who’s really in charge that we feel so much unnecessary pain.
If we want to stop giving people the power to hurt us, we have to realize that they are not in control.