Updated: Jun 14, 2021
May peace be upon you.
Nearly a year ago,
on a dark, bone-chilling night
I angrily deemed this world evil and fell to my knees.
Drenched in tears and rendered speechless,
I looked up to the moon.
And with nowhere left to turn, I began to plead to the sky:
“Please Allah ﷻ, make me closer to you.”
It was the first time that I silenced everything—
every fear, distraction ringing through my head,
and listened intently to my heartbeats.
They were hollow.
Beating for nothing
and void of faith.
It was at that moment I knew, I had to initiate the beginning of a lifelong journey,
My way back to Allah ﷻ.
My name is Anum Tayyab, and I’m inviting you to take this path with me. I’d like to tell you a bit about how I got here, and what value I’m hoping to contribute through this newsletter.
Growing up in a Muslim family, my life has always been centered around morale, faith, and spirit.
As a child, when deciphering right from wrong, I instantly recalled my faith. I knew not to steal candy from a grocery store, and to say assalamu'alaikum when greeting another Muslim.
But as I began to grow older, I was faced with more trials–more coming of age experiences. When I entered high school, societal norms and western-teenage culture made it harder to embrace Islam, I started to question if what I was taught was “wrong”, and if it actually was that—wrong.
The more I began to question, the further I drifted away from myself, and Islam. I was motionless in prayer, unaware that moving only your limbs does not compensate for niyyah (intention), and the placement of your heart.
Very frankly, it felt as if I was running away.
Straying further from my path despite knowing the truth.
I knew I had to make God a priority,
I was just deathly afraid of change.
And as I ran further and further away,
I became frantic.
Unable to rationalize, crumbling at the face of any trial.
Writing has always been my main medium of expression, and in effort to fill this lingering void in my heart, I wrote endlessly.
Moving my pen at lightning speed, I created a false narrative to escape reality.
I rambled on about my surface emotions without attempting to understand the core of my sadness.
I wasn’t just “distraught and weak,” as I once wrote—
I was just in need of Him.
And as we delve deeper into these articles, we will begin to understand how Allah ﷻ calls out to us during hardship, Subhanallah.
I am always left in tears when I read the following phrase I wrote in a journal entry on December 5th, 2019:
“I don’t know where, or in whom to place my pain.
No one wants it.”
Allah ﷻ wants all of it. Every emotion, every ounce of my being.
The parts of myself I loathe, the parts I embrace.
Through my most trusted outlet, I was unconsciously facing my greatest fear: acknowledging my need for the Lord, and taking initiative on my well being.
And here we are today, exactly one year later since I wrote that entry. However, it isn’t all too crazy how perfectly time has aligned, because I know I was destined to be writing this to you all.
And truly, I would have never imagined a year ago that I'd foster the kind of faith, positive mindset, and knowledge I have today. Alhamdulillah.
So there's my story, the condensed version at least. I hope I was able to show you that although I was once completely lost, misguided—Allah ﷻ spoke to me through everything. He called me back to Him through my mistakes, and showed me that if I made the effort to look deep within my core, I'd release every fear and begin running towards him.
And inshallah, by discussing the relevant trials we face as young Muslims, we can embark on our journey to the center, together.
“Say, whether you conceal what is in your chests or reveal it, Allah knows it.”
-Surah Ali 'Imran [3:29]