In this edition of Interfaith Voices Samina Alim reflects on January’s theme of ‘me and my relationship with God’ by reflecting on her 2017 in the form of a GIF style video. Watch the video and read her thoughts below.
Hi everyone! My name is Samina and here is a little visual art I have produced. I have always enjoyed and had a knack for all things creative – be it photography, drawing, painting, videography – you name it! So, I decided to use this GIF-like video to showcase some photos that I have taken over the course of 2017, to kind of represent how I have developed and evolved my style as an amateur photographer over the years. But most importantly, I selected these photos because I feel that they convey the ‘roller coaster of emotions’ (honestly no other way to put it!) I experienced throughout 2017 – the hardest year of my life without a doubt. And I believe that central to all these emotions and experiences – the good and the bad – was Allah (God).
2017 brought with it hurdle after hurdle after hurdle. From long-lived friendships sadly reaching their expiration dates, to feeling like I had lost out on my many dreams; these are only to name a few, so there is more where that came from sadly. However, I believe that every good and bad day I ever had and will continue to have, God has been the one to orchestrate it all. And with every single hurdle and solution, came with it a lesson… it all makes sense now.
When I went through hardship, at first I couldn’t help but feel angry and a bit sorry for myself. Some days I felt as though God was not listening to my prayers, and that he was directing His attention to others. What about me? Why did it feel like I was being left behind? But little did I know that all these tribulations, the tears, the heartache; they were all a part of His plan to help me turn to and appreciate the good in my life. For every void in my life, he filled them and blessed me with something even better. I lost those friends, so I could focus on the ones who really cared. Friends that I now consider my sisters, who I genuinely could not have got through 2017 without. I lost those dreams, so that I could direct my attention to not what I lacked, but to realise my true potential in striving for so much more. He took these things from me because they were never mine to keep, and because I deserved so much more.
Of course, I now know that all those times spent on the prayer mat with my forehead to the floor, with my tears soaking up the pages of the Quran (Holy book), with my futile attempts at trying to hide my damp prayer scarf and bloodshot eyes from my family… none of that was in vain. Because He never stopped listening, He was just busy planning. For that reason, I am genuinely excited about what this year will bring, because yes, hurdles are inevitable. But every lesson 2017 gave me, means I’m so much more equipped at dealing with them!
To those who want a more personal insight into the video: The flashing pictures represent my emotions fluctuating from sad to happy and everything in between. The lightning strikes represent the bad in my life and how I felt so consumed by it at times, letting it get the better of me. The waves represent my inner peace and tranquillity, knowing that God is handling my fate. The Arabic calligraphy represents the Quran, which contains the words of God, and feels like home every time I recite it – even if I don’t always understand the meaning of it. Finally, the flowers represent the current and new friendships/relationships that have blossomed over the year, and the never-ending blessings, Alhamdullilah (praise be to Allah).
Thank you for reading, and I genuinely hope you took something away from this! Remember that everyone goes through hurdles, but we should embrace them because there is a reason for them. I hope this year brings you not just happiness, but lessons too.
For more of my work, check out my Instagram: @samina.gal.lery
Samina is currently in her final year of study at St George’s University of London. Alongside studies she loves to read, draw, take photographs and experiment with her art!