Perhaps you spent your qiyaam last night with a heavy heart and tears in your eyes. Perhaps your worries were weighing you down, leaving you unable to feel peace and tranquility. Perhaps you felt that your sorrows were greater than those of anyone else in the masjid.
Tonight, take a look around at the people standing next to you in salah. The bubbly teenager, the smiling aunty, the cheerful mother, the solemn grandmother... perhaps that teenager is being bullied and fighting... against depression; perhaps that aunty is battling cancer or still feels hopelessly lost in a country that she will never be able to call home; perhaps that mother is a single mom, struggling with her own unfulfilled emotional and physical needs in addition to raising her children on her own; perhaps that grandmother has lost yet another loved one to death, and awaits her own with a sense of inevitability.
When we stand shoulder-to-shoulder and foot-to-foot in the masjid, it's not just about fulfilling a sunnah or engaging in a time-honoured ritual of stomp-on-each-other's-toes - it's about recognizing that we are all, each and every one of us, standing before Allah as His slaves, equallly helpless, equally begging His Mercy and His Forgiveness and the ease that only He can provide.
We all recite "Iyyaaka na'budu wa iyyaaka nasta'een" - You alone do we worship, and You alone do we turn to for help - because it's not just one or two or three of us who are dealing with difficulties in life, but *all* of us. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and He gave us this beautiful verse to remind us of that fact.
Yet we also need to remember that we are not defined by our struggles, our tests, our challenges, our sorrows, our heartbreaks. They are merely a part of our lives, not the complete sum of them - what we *are* defined by are our actions, our faith, and how we choose to face these tests in our lives.
RasulAllah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) reminded us, "Whomsoever abstains from asking others, Allah will make him contented, and whoever tries to make himself self-sufficient, Allah will make him self-sufficient. And whoever remains patient, Allah will make him patient. Nobody can be given a blessing better and greater than patience.” (Bukhari)
Courtesy: Salafi Feminist