June 5, 2008
My Epiphanies (III)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
So, I had my advising appointment yesterday for this fall’s classes. Before going, I was thinking about whether or not I should declare a major or if I should wait another semester, so I went to crash Dr. Parker’s office to chill a bit with him [BTW, he is the chairman of the theology and religious studies department. He is Christian and calls himself a Christian-Muslim at times]. But then I totally figured out that God wanted me to meet him yesterday. I think it was either Ali RA or Imam Al-Ghazali who said that if you were all knowing, all seeing, all hearing, all wise and all merciful, we would carve out our lives exactly the way it is going now [because Allah is all of those qualities and more and He is doing that].
He asked about my classes and any careers I have thought of and honestly, I told him that I thought I was way in over my head. He asked if I wanted to be an Islamic scholar like Ingrid Mattson. I told him that I would love to study Islam, but maybe not go in the direction she went. He asked if I wanted to be a teacher at an Islamic school/public school. I told him that it was a thought, but I feel like I couldn’t be a true teacher and that it may not be what is best for me. Anyway, he kept asking more and more questions until I told him that I would honestly love to learn [preferably Islamic material] for the rest of my life. I honestly can’t picture myself in the work world or married and having a family. I said I would love to work, but… there is nothing that my heart draws to or I feel that God is drawing towards me. So then he told me something that he said that no one would like to hear but me.
He said that what ever he wants me to do, what ever my parents want me to do, or anyone else for that matter, doesn’t really matter. It is all about what God wants me to do. It isn’t even about what I want to do. If God wants me to be a teacher, I have to be a teacher. He wants me to be a chemist, then I have to be a chemist. He wants me to be an Islamic scholar, I have to become an Islamic scholar. But if He wants me to do something, He’ll make a way for it to be possible. And if at first it doesn’t seem like a job that I can remain financially stable, then God will make a way to provide for me. As long as I do my part, He will do His.
And Dr. Parker was right. God is the Provider. Only He will provide for me. Even if I become a multimillionaire chemist, if He wants me to live on $5 a day, He’ll make sure I live off $5 a day. And if I become a simple diner janitor and He wants me to live off $50, 000 a day, He’ll make sure I live off $50,000 a day.
But even then, it isn’t about what I want to do, or what I believe [or may actually] help society at large. It is all about what Allah wants. What I may believe is good for me might actually be bad, and what I might think is bad for me may actually be good for me. But I have to trust God.
So for all you undecided major/career people out there, there is a lesson to learn here. It isn’t about supporting yourself, helping society at large, or any other reason you can come up with. It is all about what Allah wants you to do.
After coming out of his office I told my adviser I am still undeclared and that I will still screw around with my gen eds. And When I got home yesterday, I did salatul istikharah and now I am leaving it up to God to decide my life. He did up until now, so why should I think I have the right or power to step in and say what I think I want to do when Allah knows best?
I kind of felt that what Dr. Parker said was kind of like what was inside me but I could never verbalize to the world or my parents. For some reason, His words struck a chord with me. I mean after all, a Christian just told me probably one of the deepest piece of advice that was so Islamic in ideology that I am surprised that no freakin’ Muslim ever told me. A CHRISTIAN HAD TO REMIND ME THAT WHATEVER I DO, IT IS BECAUSE GOD WANTS ME TO DO IT, NOT BECAUSE I AM ARROGANT ENOUGH TO THINK I CAN SUPPORT MYSELF OR HELP OTHERS. ONLY BY GOD’S WILL DOES THAT HAPPEN, SO WE GOTTA DO GOD’S WILL.
Oh, and if for some freaky reason Dr. Parker is reading this, I meant no offense by that last statement; I was trying to make a point to other Muslims reading it. And thanks for the advice. God makes people meet for certain reasons and I think that epiphany was definitely a reason why I met you. I wonder if I said anything of importance….
So yeah… think about it.