It is Allah’s will that prevails

It is Allah’s will that prevails
Indian Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers in Gauhati, India, on Thursday. (AP)
Updated 07 July 2016

It is Allah’s will that prevails

It is Allah’s will that prevails

Reynaldo Maranan Jr. (now Jameel Maranan) is a Filipino who is a teacher by profession and worked as the English and self-study coordinator in one of the industrial training centers of Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia. Here, he tells about his journey to Islam.

My name is Jameel Maranan. I strongly believe in destiny and I believe that at this very moment and at this very hour, Allah has destined all of us to be here in this room. Well, there are no accidents in this life and my story is no exemption.
I remember so many years ago, I did not like the idea of working abroad much less in Saudi Arabia. For someone like me who could not alter even a bit his comfort zone, I knew that life in the Middle East is no bed of roses, thanks to the people who overstated stories about Saudi Arabia.
It took me a while to accept the fact that I was in Saudi Arabia. It was no less than as a culture shock for three years. Every year I wanted to resign from work and just go back to the comfortable life in the university.
So I thought that working hard was the key to diverting one’s culture shock to something useful. I want to say that I really worked hard with the purpose to impress my superiors for eventual promotion. I got what I wanted. For a while I thought I was really special and favored. I was professionally happy but I felt something was missing.
After a series of soul searching, I found out what it was. I lost connection with my God. Using the words I actually used then, I said, I wanted to go shopping for a religion.
And then it came to pass that I had to tutor a Saudi. I would say I was a difficult teacher. “If you want to attend my class then it must be in my terms,” I told him with much arrogance. But Zaki was a good man and never showed any retaliation. Instead, he started talking to me after our English lessons. He gave me the books after having one of our lessons. The books stayed untouched until the very appointed day. There no voices whispering I should embrace Islam but to tell you honestly, I saw the world in a different light. Zaki was a good example and there were many more people whom Allah sent to me to show the beauty of Islam. And I made the big decision. I embraced Islam on Ramadan 14, 1432. The journey started there and it continues.
I am a living witness to say that the journey sometimes can be bumpy and sometimes the new Muslim in me should take the hard road especially when one finds more excuses than determination to strive hard to quest for more knowledge in Islam. Twice I have been voted best teacher and many times I failed as a student in the Islamic center.
We grow in faith and the journey to Islam is endless. My boss would always say that ‘You have your whole life to learn about Islam,’ for most people who inspired me they made me feel that being Muslim is very easy.
Every time I would feel troubled, there are always Islamic lessons to learn. Run to Allah because he will carry you through all your troubles. All I need is tawaqul and everything will be alright.
But there are times that my faith gets tested especially when I don’t get what I prayed hard for. All of us wish the best for our family and sometimes that niyah (intention) does not prevail. I thought Allah said no, and I felt I was no longer special giving me the most humbling disappointment of my life.
Like a child I cried with the fear of losing my job. And after that I occurred to me that I might want something that is not good for me. To make the story short, in the long run I got what I thought Allah said no to. He did not say no. He made me learn the lesson of Sabr (patience), which I have less and an Islamic attitude I should have more.
Truly Allah is the greatest and even when the whole world conspires, still it is Allah’s will that prevails.
The journey does not stop there and I pray that all of us continue to strive harder for the glory and love of Allah. Ameen.