Thursday, December 10, 2009

Some Things About Me

My name is Maddie. It's short for Madison, but I posted here as Madiha for a while, and eh. I really just like being called Maddie. I don't like Madison, and Madiha is nicer, but I'm not fond of it either. So, Maddie.

I have weak iman, but I'm working on it. . . Sporadically. . . I sometimes go days on end without praying, which I know is bad. I don't want to be told it's bad, because that's obvious. But I would love advice on how to pull through. (: I'm very weak. I didn't buckle during the horrible week I had last week, but when I saw the actions of some Muslims, my faith was shaken. I know that's ridiculous, but I don't know what to do.

I'm 19 (my birthday was this last Sunday) and I am a college. . . junior, I believe? I took community college courses for duel credit during my last two years of high school, if you wonder why I'm freshman age and a junior. I should still take 2.5 - 3 years to graduate, though, because the classes I needed to progress in my major weren't offered at the community college. . . Plus, I just recently decided to switch my minor from Anthropology to Spanish. And I actually need to change the focus of my major. I was majoring in writing, but now I'm planning to study linguistics. Shouldn't be that big of a deal, since it's all English. But you still have to make it official. Blah.

I'm currently learning Mandarin. It's hard, but I like it. I can read and hear better than I can speak or write. I can never say what a tone is on a word, but I somehow manage to pronounce it right from memory. I don't know how that works. I have a final tomorrow, and this post is procrastination on studying for it. (:

Back on being Muslim: I'm slow. I'm a part time prayer, a girl who still needs to make up her Ramadan fasts, and a part time halal eater. At the new year, I plan to be a part time hijabi. The goal is to eventually be full time in all of these, but I don't know when that will happen. I'm considering going back and trying to pray before worrying about anything else. Hmm.
I also always forget to say "Bismillah" before eating, and "Alhamdulillah" after. I don't know why. Even when I stare at my plate and think, "It's halal!" (ie: remembering Islam), I always forget to say those. Ugh.

I should study.

I kind of sort of fail at Hanzi. In previous tests, Li Laoshi (李老师!!!! Look how fancy I am!!! "Teacher Li") always gave us the characters in other spots, so there may be one or two we wouldn't know. But um, not sure if the final will be the same! Blah.

I can remember the characters we learned early on. . . WAY early on. I can read pretty much all of them, both knowing the meaning and the pronunciation. But I can't remember how to write. Yeee.


  1. Salam alaykum,

    nice to meet you Maddie, my sister in islam :). I have been following your blog for about one month now and wish you Allah's blessing after your "coming out". I started my blog also in October this year, like you, but unfortunately it's in Finnish.

    By the way, it's interesting to notice that many Muslim converts are highly educated, like you. Keep up the good work.

    I do not believe any of us is perfect in practicing Islam but insha Allah little by little we come better.

  2. Insha'Allah you'll do fine on your 汉语考试. Kudos for incorporating it into everyday life! :)

    About your practice of Islam, I would say take it slow. You are still very new to Islam and in the process of learning. No one expects an infant to know how to walk and talk right away. It all takes practice and patience.
    Salat is crucial to the practice of Islam, as I'm sure you know. It was also very difficult for me to commit to salat at first; it's hard to take on any new habit, especially one that's done five times a day and requires a lot of dedication and attention put into it. I think the best thing to do is to just dive right in and try and do all five prayers on time each day. They don't have to be perfect or even memorized at this point. As long as you have the right intentions (using this time to worship ALLAH) and do your best in performing the movements and saying the words, your prayer is valid. Use cheat sheets while you're praying and gradually memorize more and more. The important thing right now is to get into the habit. It might be difficult at first to fathom having to break from what you're doing five times a day to pray, but Insha'Allah soon enough you won't think anything of it and the prayers will just become part of your everyday routine.
    In my opinion, iman is more than just praying and doing the ritual aspects of Islam. You can pray five times a day and do a bunch of extra prayers, but if you don't have any feeling or love in it, then it's just a meaningless ritual. Iman also includes taqwa (fear/love of ALLAH), dhikr (remembrance of ALLAH), and good character. I know that sometimes I can get too caught up in the ritual aspects of Islam and ignore the whole reason why I'm doing them, which is to get closer to ALLAH. In between learning how to perform salat, I would recommend making du'a. These prayers are informal and intimate; when I do them, I talk to ALLAH about everything and am comforted by the fact that ALLAH hears them. Du'a can be said anytime and anywhere, and I think these really help build a more personal relationship with ALLAH.

    Salaam alaikum, and remember, if you need any support, you can come to me; more importantly, you can always go to ALLAH, our Wali (Protecting Friend).


  3. Salam aleikom Maddie,

    Baby steps, right? Nobody is born knowing everything in life. We all have to learn how to eat, sit, walk, talk..look how long we need our parents help and guidance! SubahnAllah.
    When I first started praying I had to keep a piece of paper next to me and a pencil and each time I finished a unit I would write it down, then continue praying (I couldnt keep track if I was praying 3 rakaats or not :) )I also kept a surah on paper in transliteration in my hand and read off of it. My point is, we all struggle in this deen. Nobody is born knowing the whole Qur'an. We won't ever be perfect but we strive to do what we can, once you accomplish one thing, move onto the next inshaAllah. Start with praying 5 times a day, ask Allah to make it easy for you and have patience on yourself. Try not to be hasty, you might burn yourself out. Everyone goes through periods of high and low faith. Just keep trying sis, don't lose hope. Also the more you build your foundation the stronger you'll feel inshaAllah in difficult times.