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THE TURNING POINT OF A HORSE GIRL - 2011
The gripping excitement of the worlds activity, puts wool over the eyes of a teenager! Therefore we don’t see what lies ahead of the river of fun, neither do we see the what lies below the waterfall. We don’t see the effects of our actions. Sometimes, there’s one moment that shakes you from within and you slowly but surely, we find our way.
As a 16 year old, I write my personal story of reformation that made me love the person I am. It was difficult to fit in, maybe because I didn’t have my hair open in public, or I don’t smoke, or I don’t communicate with boys, or because I am kept at home and wear glasses. At times even my health played a role as I suffered from eczema. It was natural for me to feel imprisoned and question my Islamic identity. Sometimes , even hate the laws and rules my parents has set for me, not realizing those were the laws and rules of Nabi (s.a.w) and Allah Ta'ala. But shaytaan disguises the bad, and makes us waste our precious time and energy in sin. As a teenager all we want to do is make ourselves happy, not realizing happiness for a moment lies in sin, but eternal, genuine happiness lies in pleasing Allah Ta'ala
“My environment is safe!” Most people say to my parents. No environment is safe. My environment is better than that of a city child. Because shaytaan’s objective is to sway a Mu’min and us youth are the easiest tool, because of the technology, company we keep and the advice of the Ulema we turn a deaf ear to. We find it easier saying no to salaah than sin. We are an easy target!
My environment is filled with the Adrenalin rush of horse-riding and animals. Living on a farm, waking up to a beautiful family, all healthy and well. I walk to a yard, hectares of full green pastures, tall trees, flowers blossoming, peacocks prancing with fanned glass tails and stables full of beautiful horses to enjoy at my pleasure and the beach 2km away. Weekends galloping across the shore of the crystal ocean, if not competing . Days studying looking at the view of My HOME! Yet, I still felt imprisoned. No matter how Allah's bounties were pouring over me, drenching me, I was so engrossed in my love for the world, I didn’t even read a simple dua or take Allah's name when I was happy and thankful. Rather in the times of need, I turned to Him.
My mothers would always advise me, not to compete in horse shows, as a girls place is in her home. She is precious and delicate and the world is bad out there. But I didn’t take heed, because I loved, riding in competitions. Preparing for that first prize. The excitement and praise. That rush of courage and feeling of butterflies as rider and horse, as one. Takes a 15 obstacle course and to learn the dressage test and with discipline and rhythm the horse responds to your every request. You succeed!
Slowly, my hijaab was not my priority, Salaah and Quraan lost its importance to my horses. My dreams were endless, when it came to competing. The athletes of the FEI world, became my role – models. Until 2010, I went to the Arabian horse nationals, Parys, Freestate.
It was one of my very first experiences at the Arabian horse show. I went to analyze and learn. In my mind, my intention was; I am going to learn , so that the following year I can compete.
The Arabian horse is such a unique creation, the style of riding is different , the art and skill of these horses are truly exceptional. The show is divided in two classes. Halter class and riding classes. The halter classes is based on the perfection of the intricate beauty of the horses competing, while the riding classes is based on the different techniques and styles of riding.
One day I walked the stalls feasting my eyes on the amazing accessories for horses. The bejeweled halters and embroidered numnahs and blankets. I was surprised, when I laid my eyes upon an abaya hanging as advertisement. With curiosity, I inquired in a round about way who is the owner of the stall. It was a non– Muslim. I saw kurtas and scarves!
Before leaving, I was stopped by a woman. With excitement in her eyes, she said. “ I feel so honored to meet you.” I smiled and after introducing myself, she told me: “Do you know the Arabian horse runs through your veins?” Before I could answer she went saying that I am so lucky to be a Muslim, to be part of the history of the Arabian horse and they wish they could wear attire like us. She then raised a question to the stall attendee.“ Do you know who created jodphurs?” I was stumbled with an answer. She said “ It was a Muslim that made the first jodphurs!” And she told me that I have a lot to be thankful for, and she feels honoured to have met me. I was left shaken within. I felt proud of my Islamic identity and left with a mixed feeling of happiness and ashamed of myself. How could I ever think of imitating the kufaar, when I have the purest, beautiful and honest heritage and identity… ISLAAM!
The following day, my heart with guilt and grief. When I was praised about my hijaab and then the last class of the show started. With a powerful canter all riders and horses came into the arena dressed to fit in the desert. The men wore kurtas and turbans, the women wore abayas and scarves.
Their horses dressed with velvet cloths, decorated with tassels and beads. The beauty of Islaam is so powerful. I watched and thought. I feel ashamed to wear a scarf and abaya! But these people are trying to be like me! I have it! I was born a Muslim! how could I ever have think something like that! There and then, I made istighfaar and a firm intention that I will never sacrifice Islaam for anything. I have imaan ;the greatest possession. I have salaah, Quraan and Thikr. I have so many worldly bounties to make shukr for. I left there content with the Muslimah Allah Ta'ala has made me.
Few months later, by the grace of Allah Ta'ala, I was invited to the House Of Allah Ta'ala. This itself was a mercy my Creator bestowed me .Giving me the opportunity to change. What better place. I cried my heart out on the plains of Arafaat and in front of the Kaabah. Begging for forgiveness. I returned with my protection Hijaab and Niqaab My Salaah, Thikr and Quraan my priority in this world. My objective was not to achieve the best of this world or please my friends. But was to achieve the best of the Aakhira and to please Allah Ta'ala. My actions are built with the sunnah of Rasoolullah (s.a.w) My role – model changed from a kufaar athlete, to someone with much higher status in this world and hereafter- Hadhrat Maryam A.S. I cry for some quality of hers.
My dreams is to spread Islaam across the world, become a Hafidha and be a source of guidance to the youth, because the future lies with us. Allah Ta'ala has given me a passion for writing poetry and inspirational stories. Please make duah for me that Allah Ta'ala makes my dreams a source of guidance. My advise is not the whispers of Shaytaan. Rather that of the esteemed Ulema. My love for the world, transformed into the love and anxiety for the Aakhirah. My happiness lies in pleasing Allah Ta'ala! Following the Sunnah.
Dear readers- My life did not stop. I still ride horses and show jump, but I don’t compete. Islaam is not a restriction but a freedom with protection. It is not easy, because you get people that cough, glare and calls you names. Sometimes they are Muslims. But it is up to you how you deal with it, because you are going in the correct direction shaytaan will come to misguide you in many ways. We just have to stand tall and remember, pleasing Allah Ta'ala is the only think that matters and our merit is Jannah. Inshallah.
What is life without tests? Allah Ta'ala tests those whom He loves.
Hijaab is no fashion. Hijaab is not just covering your face, head and body. Hijaab is submission to Allah Ta'ala, it is an act of ibaadah. When we do work , we take pride in it. Just like that for acts of ibaadah we must take pride in it and try to perfect it. There’s more to just wearing Hijaab, it’s our voice, gaze and character. If we use polite language, you are beautifying your hearts and when we lower our gaze we hitting off so many sin. Because when we gaze at something haraam, it is a snap that will be pasted in your head. That shaytaan, will use it against you. Our character is Sunnah and Dawah!
Why tire yourself with sin? When Islam is full of peace. A special, respectable person once said to me; “ An act of sin is like a wrong turn, the sooner you turn around the better!”
I hope I made a difference to at least one persons life. Aameen
I end off with my personal saying- “Life is like an exam, except we can refer to our guideline (Quraan), and our merit is Jannah.”
By: Maryam bint Salim Ebrahim Ally