Sunrise & Sunset


It has been quite a while since I last posted…but between Eid break and going back home, coming back and being sick and missing class for almost a full week, and trying to catch up I could not find the time to sit down and collect my thoughts enough to put together a decent post.

In the meantime, I will share 2 of my favorite pictures that I’ve taken since I’ve been here, one is of a sunrise and the other is of a sunset.  I have been thinking about the idea of a “sunrise” and a “sunset” more frequently than I have in the past and it has caused me to reflect on what the “sunrises” and “sunsets” in my own life have been, and how I define what I consider to be a “sunrise” and what I consider to be a “sunset.”

Sunrise: on the way to class one morning. It rained the night before.

تُولِجُ اللَّيْلَ فِي النَّهَارِ وَتُولِجُ النَّهَارَ فِي اللَّيْلِ ۖ وَتُخْرِجُ الْحَيَّ مِنَ الْمَيِّتِ وَتُخْرِجُ الْمَيِّتَ مِنَ الْحَيِّ ۖ وَتَرْزُقُ مَن تَشَاءُ بِغَيْرِ حِسَابٍ

You cause the night to enter the day, and You cause the day to enter the night; and You bring the living out of the dead, and You bring the dead out of the living. And You give provision to whom You will without account.” [3:27]

Sunset: on the walk back home from the masjid.

When I really sit down to think about it, there are so many incidents in my life that have been both a sunrise and a sunset simultaneously; an end to one thing and start to another at the same time.  As growing Muslims and human beings, I feel that both do come together, and when I think about it, with every sunset there is a sunrise and with every sunrise there is a sunset, whichever way you look at it.

A friend and mentor of mine from the program last year told me a dua that a friend of hers from undergrad used to make that really moved her.  It was a dua that really moved me as well.

“Oh Allah, make my next high my next low.” 

What she meant by it is that the next peak she reaches in her iman (faith), in her worship, in the development of her character, in any aspect of her life she prays that it is at the same time the next low point in her life.  She was concerned with constantly making progress in her life and she had the attitude of continuously striving to move to the next level which shaped the determination in her life.  Now that is something to definitely look up to!!

As the program progresses, we all get tired, burnt out, frustrated, disheartened, distracted, and heedless at some points.  There are times when we start to feel off, or we forget why we came here, or we become dismayed at what seems to be our lack of progress or our lack of results.  I have been thinking about what it means to be here and how to make the most of my experience, and I have talked at length with a few students about the problems we are facing and how to climb back out of the little ruts we get trapped in every now and then.  We have been addressing this issue among ourselves and Ustadh Nouman has also addressed it in class, specifically the last day before Thanksgiving Break.  We are all talking about making the changes that we need to make and constantly monitoring and evaluating ourselves so that we maximize our time and benefit in the program.

Ustadh Nouman and Shaykh Omar Suleiman spoke about Making the Changes last month at a convention in Maryland and I happened to stumble across the lectures, which I watched on the first day of break and benefited from immensely.  So I thought I’d share 🙂

Making the Changes-Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan

Making the Changes-Shaykh Omar Suleiman

*For the Arabic students out there, I love his constant mentioning of different sayings of our scholars    in Arabic!!

From the lecture, I’ve written down the 5 points that Shaykh Omar Suleiman mentioned, and posted them up on my wall 🙂

  1. Eliminate the poisons in your life that aren’t allowing you to change.
  2. An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
  3. KISS-Keep It Simple Sunnah.
  4. Think progress; Don’t think backwards.
  5. Don’t become a terrible person on your path to becoming a good Muslim.

If you really benefited from the lecture, I would suggest doing the same and posting it up somewhere that you can always look at it.

I’m definitely still thinking about my sunrises and sunsets and because of that I’ve decided to post up the stories of the journey I’ve taken to get to Dream.  Keep an eye out for the stories that made me the person who I am today,  of me growing up and coming to Islam, and the stories that got me here in my new category “My Journey to Dream.”  They are extremely personal and very telling.  By sharing these stories, if nothing else, I pray that it at least gives hope to anyone who is struggling with establishing the deen (the religion of Islam) in his/her life.  The first story shall be posted later this week insha’Allah (God-willing)!!

As I think about the sunrises and sunsets of my life, I hope you take a few minutes and think about yours.


1 Response to “Sunrise & Sunset”

  1. 1 Anam
    November 28, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    Loved this Meena! Thanks for sharing 🙂

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