“Because of that one comment, I began my journey to learn more about my faith and why I believed in what I believed in. I had to find answers to the difficult questions that started appearing in my head.
I became a recluse for a year, convinced that death was coming the next day and that I had to expend all my efforts and my time in acquiring all the Islamic knowledge I could before I had to face God and account for the gift of youth and time that He had given me. I stopped listening to music, I didn’t meet up with friends, I filled my time with classes – Qur’anic exegesis, Islamic Jurisprudence, Arabic, you name it, I signed up for it.
My parents were worried about me. Where was that bubbly girl we used to know? What has she become? Although they were glad I was trying to become a better person, the truth was, I wasn’t becoming a better person. I had become nasty and grumpy and selfish. I didn’t want anyone to take my time away from God. Instead of applying the knowledge that I had learnt on myself, I used it as a yardstick to judge others.”
– Excerpt from my essay in “Soulful Stories of Hope, Love & Light”
“This amazing compilation of stories by Maria Mahat and her publishing house, UNGUPEN, helps us to recognise the variety, the uniqueness, and the reality of challenges faced by the people around us. This book teaches us that behind every smile, there may be fragility, vulnerability, and at the same time, immense strength.” – Ustaz Mizi Wahid