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My Safe Bubble

It’s blessing growing up in a strong Muslim community. Always being surrounded by good influence, and constant support inevitably makes your Imaan stronger. However, as I got older, I had to start transitioning away from that safe bubble. I soon came to realize as I grew up that I had been living in a false reality assuming Muslims are everywhere. Unfortunately, that is not the reality, but should it be?

Shouldn’t Muslims have the same opportunities and legacy as any other race or ethnicity?

Transitioning from an Islamic elementary school into a public high school, I still did not see much change as the school had a very high Muslim population. We were very fortunate to have a good MSA (Muslim Student Association) with Muslims teachers always available for support and supervision. I continued to live in an ignorant bliss that there are good Muslims everywhere and were a part of all walks of life.

Finally came university, and McMaster also had a strong Muslim community, which is of course, by no surprise made me more drawn to it. However, I became adamant on not joining the MSA and seeing what the university community had to offer otherwise. I felt as though even with this decision, Allah (swt) did not feel like I was ready to face reality because my friends once again were amazing Muslims and had a great influence.

It was when I received an award and went to the ceremony, reality settled in with me: Muslims are not everywhere.

In a gathering of approximately 250 individuals I was the only one wearing a hijab. This was highly unsettling, it had never happened before. I felt as though I was the only representation of Muslims and Islam at the event?

Coming home from that ceremony, I contemplated, if there are so many Muslims in my surroundings, why were there almost none at the ceremony?

Those at the ceremony were individuals in high authority, the ones that make decisions. Why are we not at an important place like that? After great thought, I came to a conclusion that just like myself in the beginning, Muslims like to stay in a false bubble for comfort. With this comfort, the will to reach peaks in life may also disappear, knowing there might not be a strong Muslim community support available. However, I feel that we should reach out of our comfort zone, instead of making our own small circles, we should infiltrate the existing ones.

The goal to reach high positions is not just related to having a good life in the world as those positions come with good pay, it is also a kind of Dawah.

A strong Muslim amongst them will build their trust in our community, by demonstrating being the best Muslim one can be. While decisions are being made, the Muslim voice will also be heard, allowing for the community to be a better suited place for us.

There are benefits in the world and hereafter which come from leaving our comfort zone and trying to become part of the real world, while maintaining our strong Imaan.

The Muslim community should be the backbone for reaching heights, not a reason one does not pursue a big dream.

We should encourage and motivate skilled Muslims to go into the real world with their talents, and literally show the world we are capable of doing anything.

Hamna Imtiaz

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