Several things that I’m made to realize in the past few weeks since I started living in Seoul.
Firstly, I realized how true my ustaz had been when he said the following:
“The test of your iman is when you’re alone and away from people.
What do you do when no one you know is around?”
As I began to realize that there are quite a number of Muslims here in Seoul and how some of them do not even come across as one unless they tell you they’re one, I began to see the truth in his words. I was thinking to myself how being alone hundreds of miles away, no one would know if: you were to miss your prayers, have that drink, eat non-halal food, engage in non-permissible relationships with the opposite sex, behave badly and basically… Do anything that counters to the Islamic principles and beliefs.
My ustaz’s words echoed through my mind. How true.
But then again, Allah knows. Your soul knows. It’s only this awareness that Allah is ever-seeing and knows all that I do, that it matters that I do things that keep my soul contented, and that I have a responsibility to my parents and all those people who matter to carry myself in a way that wouldn’t hurt them, that I constantly tell myself to hold tight to His rope.
And I pray that Allah protects me and keeps me away from things that causes me to fail His test of iman.
Secondly, I realized too how I have taken for granted the ease with which I can perform the congregational prayers back in Singapore. During those moments I sat on my prayer mat after I’m done with my prayers, I’m reminded of how much I miss doing the jemaah prayers. It’s been more than a month since I prayed in congregation and only now do I realized the nikmah in praying as a group.
It’s such a nikmah to be praying simultaneously with the other brothers and sisters in Islam, to hear the azan and iqamah live, to hear the recitation of the imam as he leads the prayer, to softly follow the recitation should it be from verses/surahs that you have memorized, to do so in the confines of the mosque whose serenity is unmatched… I miss the jemaah prayers a lot.
Therein lies the next realization I had: Your life – its entirety – is made up of small moments. For me, these are:
Attending classes/lectures at the mosque or elsewhere.
Weekends in Bedok, Kembangan or Changi.
Hanging out at Arab Street after work.
Meetups at JEM.
Afternoon lunches at IMM or JP.
Breakfasts at Adam Road and Bukit Timah.
Sleeping on bus/MRT rides back to home.
Competing with the brother on who will get to sleep on bed for the night.
Waking up every morning and proceeding groggily to the parents’ room, then planting myself in between them for another 15 minutes of sleep before properly waking up.
I believe there are more but the point is, it is in the little things. Sometimes, it’s the little things in life that matter.