Lynda Fitzgerald, Ex-Catholic, Ireland (part 4 of 4)


Two weeks later I went to the Dawa center.  I was really frightened and I was afraid I would say something wrong.  My friend Khaled and his wife brought me and it was very emotional.  At the end, all of us had tears in our eyes.  I cried all the way home in the car.

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Still, everything wasn’t as it should be.  In changing my lifestyle, I had become a complete TV addict.  My whole life now revolved around prayer and TV in the evening.  I wasn’t happy about it, but I was too lazy to do anything about it.  I would try to read my Islamic books, but I just felt that I couldn’t take in any more.  Then rumors about me were going around the hospital, and they started to get back to me.  This really upset me, because I hated my life to be the subject of every ones curiosity, and I hated to be the brunt of backbiting and rumors.  I went home from work one evening, and I felt that I just couldn’t face it any longer.  I hated coming in and watching TV all night and seeing and talking to no one, and the weekends had become a nightmare.  I might not see anyone all weekend.  I felt lost and alone.  It came time for Isha prayer that night and I just didn’t want to do it.  This had never happened to me before and it really upset me.  I cried solidly for two hours.

The next day my eyes were really swollen and I cried on and off all day.  Khaled kept asking me what was wrong and at first I just couldn’t tell him, because I felt so ashamed, even though I had done the prayer because I knew I had to.  Eventually I told him and he reassured me that even he felt that way sometimes and not to feel bad about it or get upset about it.  What I needed was to change my lifestyle, play tennis, go shopping, read a book.  I kept arguing that that wouldn’t help because I still needed people to talk to, I would still be lonely.

That night I went home, and I felt I was really loosing it, I felt I just couldn’t go on.  After my prayer I prostrated myself and I prayed really hard “Please God, don’t let me loose you, please don’t let me loose you.” I sat up and turned to the short verses in the back of the Quran and I found Al-Taakathur, and after reading it I realized that I had to let go of all these things I was still attached to, like the TV and worrying about people and what they thought about me.  I had to learn to let go.  And I felt all my worries leaving me as if they were coming out of my back and floating away.

The next day at Fajr, when I finished my prayer, I got a feeling that I should put my hands in front of me while I was saying my Du’ua.  I had seen people doing this but I never understood what it was for.  I put out my hands and I prayed for God to help me to let go and to try harder to be a better person.  Then I put my hands up to my face and I felt a tingling sensation and a sense of well being and peace and for ages. I was afraid to move in case it went away.  But it didn’t.

That day at work, I had a visit from a guy in the Computer department – Anwer.  I had never met him before but he had heard about me.  He told me about the Rajhi mosque, and that there were lectures in English on a Friday.  I decided that I would go that Friday.  That week I didn’t watch any TV, and I played tennis and then I asked one of our limo drivers that I trusted to bring me to the mosque.

Friday morning, I got very nervous and at the last minute, I felt that I didn’t want to go.  What if I went to the wrong Mosque, what if I did everything wrong.  Just as I was going out the door, I prayed to God to guide me and to let everything turn out OK.  And, everything did turn out OK.  I met the Sameers’, an expatriate family from Sri Lanka, living and working in Saudi Arabia, my new family, and they took me in to their home and treated me like one of their own.  May God bless them and reward them and I thank Him every day for choosing them and for letting me meet them.


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