One community we don’t talk much about is the many Muslim-majority Central Asian countries once ruled by the USSR. I grew up in a culture where Islamic education was completely wiped out by the time of my parents’ generation. Being a practicing Muslim was a taboo. Worship was something you did once you retired. However, even with such strong forces, Dua was a practice retained.
Most of what I was taught when I was young was about the punishments of Allah. It wasn’t until I immigrated to the US that I really started learning Islam. Having access to educated imams and translated books in the US, showed me the true and fair picture of Allah and Islam. And that in turn spurred and thrived my spiritual journey. My journey, however, has been a very lonely one, as the rest of the family is not religious.
It was during this process that I created The Dua Journal to keep me accountable in making dua, being grateful, and actively setting goals to develop my knowledge in Islam. And most especially to step away from guilt, shame, and pressure so I could commit more of me to living a POSITIVE life.
It’s been almost 18 months and I’ve created this community of like-minded Muslims who fill my heart day in and day out. I’ve always felt close to Allah from early childhood, but my Instagram family fill the yearning for companionship in worshipping our Creator.
So I say, no matter what history, Allah pulls us out and reunites us. And Islam is a gift of hope to all of us.