- in the name of Allah -

Long ago, almost a decade now, there was a part of myself I had cherished, an innocence and naivete (so I thought in past retrospectives) that linked me closer to my faith. It was a smiling, brighter part of me that somehow seemed to be able to be cheery even after some of the most difficult times I'd ever known. A part of me that could take its idealism and make it real, fashioning from simple actions and conversations a potential roadmap to its future. 

I lost this part of me, or to be more precise, I had let go of it. I once thought that in this harsh reality, where power and wealth and influence seem to domineer over everything, I couldn't hold onto something so fragile, that it was not worth allowing one's self to be so vulnerable to seemingly everything. Fortunately, and alhamdulillah, I was wrong and able to live long enough to see it. 

There were and are so many layers to understanding what it means to "hold on to Allah's rope", I thought I knew all of them. I thought that it was the rope strangling me, presenting me with one set way of thinking while placing me in a world where the exact opposite seemed the only way. It turns out this was not the case. I think the best way to describe it might be that I had managed to use the rope to strangle myself, to use it not as a means of ascension or hopefulness or perseverance, but twisting into a justification for dissociation, disconnecting from old friends, from trying to be aloof from as much of life as I could possibly be. 

Rope, particularly the one Allah lends to those believe in Him, is never to be so dreary or dreaded. It remains a gift, though people, including myself, may lose sight of its real purpose: to remain ever vigilant, forward-looking, to keep on climbing no matter how slowly we have to go or how many steps back we may stumble.What has past is gone and cannot be changed, but what is to come need not go by those same rules written into the history books. We....I, can find something better if only I seek it, if I never let go of the aid my Rabb gives me and return to Him as often as I have breath to find it. 

I will never forget Komal, perhaps the first person I ever knew who accepted me for everything I was and never demanded anything from me to change (though I should have been smarter back then). Memories of that brief but brilliant and wistful time in life will always remain, so long as neurons keep firing. I suppose alhamdulillah is in order, when is it not?, that I had the chance to know someone like her, in an age of true innocence and imagination. For the beautiful and tremendous thing that I had sought at that age, it was not my time to have it. Will such a time ever come for me to find it? I don't hold the answer to that, but at long last, I will leave the doors of possibility wide open.