This post has been a long time coming and as someone who particularly enjoys writing about Islam and my faith, the issues that I discuss below are always at the forefront of my mind when I write either on this blog, for external publications or on social media outlets. I was having a conversation with a sister on Instagram about two weeks ago and it was refreshing to hear someone else share the same fears as I do about writing on faith. Below are my thoughts and the ways that I’ve found to resolve or partially alleviate some of my concerns.
The first thing that comes to mind when writing about faith is the importance of intention. Especially knowing as a Muslim that our actions are judged by our intentions, there is always that fear for me that along the line my intention could get corrupted. This has always been a space for me to share my thoughts, struggles and lessons and sometimes after publishing a post, I find myself asking the question, what’s the intention behind what you’ve just shared? So over the past few months, I have been working on being more mindful not just about writing but about everything that I do. One tip that I would give whether you are writing about faith or anything else, is to purify your intentions before you start. Go as far as saying it out loud. Ask Allah to make the deed something that stands for you on the Day of Judgement and not against you.
The second struggle/ fear that I have with writing about faith is the issue of hypocrisy especially in instances when I am sharing tips etc. I have so many drafted posts right now that I won’t publish because whilst I might have extracted lessons from those experiences, I’m not at a stage where I am fully practising them.
The fear for me is what if I write about something on the blog and later down the line I’m not implementing it?
Whilst interning this summer, I remember struggling with writing soul pieces at times even though they are my favourite because I didn’t want to churn out content that I might not be putting to action a month later. But the truth is, it happens. Iman is not something that is constant.
If I share a piece about Tahajjud for example, it doesn’t mean that I am able to wake up every day for Tahajjud and I’ve had a couple of conversations over the year that has me assessing the impact of perception.
The last thing that I want to do is give this portrayal that I am a perfect Muslim who has it all together because I struggle just like everyone else. And I truly believe that when inspiration hits it does for a reason. For me, writing has always been revelation and has brought about healing, one that I want to share with you all.
Which then leads me to my last point. I sometimes feel like when you write about faith you find yourself tethering a fine line between sharing honest reflections about where you are in your spirituality and broadcasting your private sins. And by not writing about your struggles, at times it can feel inauthentic.
My intention with writing is not for people to place me on a pedestal, in fact, it’s the opposite of that. Whilst I might not reveal all my spiritual struggles on here, it doesn’t mean that I don’t have them.
In summary below are some guidelines that I use for my writing:
- Be mindful enough with all my actions to vocalise my intentions, purify it and ask for Allah’s blessings.
- If you do worry about your intention, don’t leave the good deed. Continue to do it whilst you work on your intention. Emphasis on the fact that you are working on it.
- If Allah SWT covers my sins, best believe I am not here to be broadcasting them but I also understand that Allah isn’t looking for perfection from us. If I waited for the perfect moment where I was doing everything, I would never be able to share reflections. I want to be truthful and authentic to the journey as much as possible and so my reflections are simply from an imperfect human being to another who is on this journey of pleasing Allah.
- Only share things if there is a lesson to be derived from it. I don’t write just for the sake of it, I share these thoughts because I truly believe in all of us collectively being able to make our journey easier.
I pray that Allah grants us all goodness and wisdom and that He makes us of those who he loves and who he grants His love to.