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Will this be the Last Time?

Will this be the Last Time?

by | February 15, 2018

Change/Relocating or Transplanting is not always easy…

 

 

My Farewell cake in New Jersey made by Sister Asma Ibrahim, masha’Allah

Re-locations takes a huge toll on us regardless of the distance whether is in the same city, around the corner, across country or to a different country for that matter. Often times adjustments take a tremendous amount of time and many times they are extremely overwhelming to say the very least.

Unfortunately, I have moved quite a bit during my lifetime. As a child it was never by choice, except the time the judge asked if I wanted to go home. Group homes, foster care was definitely not easy but I understood then it was the safest move for the time being, Alhamdulillah.

My first major and most difficult move was leaving Mexico at the tender age of 4 to move to California was not my choice. I believe that was the hardest move of all, it was not easy to leave my maternal grandmother. My life was flipped upside down in a matter of days and I can honestly say that from then on wards it has taken a lifetime to adjust. Some scars never erase completely and are graciously our constant reminder of where we came from. They often times keep us grounded and shape us for the future. I sometimes wonder, where would I be or how would I have turn out if I was never removed from my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins in Mexico? Only Allah [God] knows but the truth of the matter is that I am doing just fine and every opportunity I have I visit my precious grandmother, Alhamdulillah.

 

My precious Grandmother and I during my last visit to Cuernavaca Mexico 2017

 

After living in California for almost half of my life, on July 5th 2001 I decided to bravely pack my dreams and move to New York on my own. Shortly after that move I decided to crossed over the Lincoln tunnel and made New Jersey my home. Those moves were not as difficult and I ask myself why? Was it because I personally made the choice? Or was it because that is what I desperately need at the time. The reasons and circumstances were asking for those moves. Well, once again only Allah [God] knows. One thing is for sure, despite the hardship, struggles, highs or lows He has never left my side. He has protected me during the darkness moments of my life and led the way to what seemed to be the end of the tunnel. It actually turned out to be the beginning of my life, I was finally able to see the light, the light of Islam. My Rabb (Lord) continues to guide me, always has and I pray that He always will.

New York and New Jersey was home for just about 14 years…

 

Moving along, the next enormous move I made in my life took place during the summer of 2015. This time around it was a bit different, I didn’t move by myself, my 10 year old child was part of the team. After praying we decided to give Houston a try and so we moved from the Garden State of New Jersey to the Lonestar state of Texas. Again, I packed my dreams and my car, it was one of the most memorable moves. Driving across country is always adventurous and memorable. We planned out a route that we had never been on, contacted a few friends to visit along the way and made sure to visit as many mosques as we could, unfortunately many were closed. This trip was fun, exciting, exhausting and full of valuable lessons and unforgettable memories, masha Allah.

In front of North Hudson Islamic Education Center (NHIEC) in Union City, New Jersey.  

 

Once in Houston, my son eventually grew a passion for basketball and he became a fan and even attended the Houston Rockets games but that was still not enough to consider Houston home. This time around these adjustments were not easy, the steaming hot, humid weather played a big roll. Often times we got homesick, tears and all making it difficult to embrace this move. What did help was meeting and connecting with other Mexican Muslimahs. Surprisingly in New Jersey for the longest time I was the only Mexican Muslimah and if it wasn’t for the fact that I have always traveled back and forth to Mexico. It was quite difficult keeping up with my own Mexican culture in a place where the Caribbean cultures thrives, masha Allah. Anyway, meeting these beautiful Mexican souls in Houston reconnected me to my roots and made me feel somewhat at home, Alhamdulillah.

Friends are Family we Chose for Ourselves!

 

We plan but Allah is the best of planners. Our most recent move took place this past summer, August of 2017, we made the happy conscience choice to move to Dallas, Texas. This move was completely different because from day one we have felt right at home. I am not sure if it was the actual warmth and hospitable community or the joyful fact of rejoining my ICNA family. Maybe it was reconnecting with old friends or immediately making new friends what made us feel so comfortable from day one. Whatever it was Dallas is a very special place, diversity at it’s best, programs and activities every single day of the week with scholars and leaders who go far and beyond for our ummah at large, masha’Allah. I have been blessed to volunteer with varies organizations like the Red Cross after Hurricane Harvey, got the rare opportunity to meet the Dallas Cowboys. I have also joined a numerous of interfaith events and groups, one that I have committed to is the Daughters of Abraham, we (Muslim, Christian and Jewish Sisters) meet once a month.

Met the Dallas Cowboys while volunteering for the Red Cross after Hurricane Harvey in Dallas, Texas

 

Moreover, I must add that the weather has been perfect. We have been able to enjoy somewhat of a normal winter. Temperatures have dropped to the twenties, for the first time in almost 3 years we have been able to wear a winter coat and prior to winter we enjoyed the leaves changing and falling right before our very own eyes during our brief Autumn. We are certainly happy and feel extremely blessed to have been transplanted by the Almighty to a place that finally feels like, Home Sweet Home for now…

Enjoying Dallas Texas Life, horseback riding! 

 

Sometimes we don’t understand why some moves are harder or easier than others. Most of my early moves were prior to Islam and so I obviously did not comprehend, handled, grasped, understood or dealt with previous situations the same way I would today. As a Muslim I have gradually understood that this life without a doubt is temporary. As young adults we tend to believe we are invincible and everlasting. But the truth of the matter is, we should never get too comfortable in one place as a matter of fact the hadith that I end this piece with clearly states to live this life as a traveler. We must constantly remind ourselves that our everlasting, ease and comfort is not designed or will it take place in dunya (this life). We must continue striving for the bigger picture akhirah (next life) and hope that one day, we make it there, jannah al firdous (paradise) in shaa Allah.

“Live in this world as (if you are) a wayfarer or a stranger.” [Bukhari and Tirmidhi]

 

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