Day four…

29 June 2013
Bismillah
Today was the worst day so far.. it was so bad that it made me cry. Let me explain..
I didn’t leave the house until after ‘asr because I wanted to stay inside and listen to a lecture. After ‘asr we went to have a look in some of the nearby villages. The rest of the time was just wasted with eating and talking.
So I was feeling very guilty for wasting my time and wanted to make up for it after maghrib. But I wasn’t determined enough. My family asked me if I wanted to go to the trampolines on the beach and I said I didn’t but they convinced me. Once I was there all I thought was how am I going to justify this to Allah. Loud music being played, naked girls and people thinking that they are happy. I felt so miserable. And I felt weak. Then I remembered the hadith.. ittaqullaha haythu ma kunt wa atbi’i s-sayyiata hasanah tamhuha..
I then left the place but this feeling of unrest hasn’t left me. There’s a black spot on my heart causing it to feel pain and sorrow.
I have had enough of these sins and sinful people. I thought Holland had a bad effect on my iman now it seems like paradise and I miss my friends who would help me to come nearer to Allah. But I need to be patient and fight against my nafs and others. I came here with the intention to work on my iman and make the most of ramadhan.. but as my sister said this time I’m not strengthening my iman through reading books and listening to lectures but by struggling against the shaytaan.
It’s hard, I feel alone in my struggle as nobody is supporting me. But I have Allah and I will have to answer to Him alone and on the day of judgment nobody will have anyone to help them. And I have my best friend.. one I neglected, the Qur’an.
Surah Ibrahim, Verse 22:
“And the Shaitan shall say after the affair is decided: Surely Allah promised you the promise of truth, and I gave you promises, then failed to keep them to you, and I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you obeyed me, therefore do not blame me but blame yourselves: I cannot be your aider (now) nor can you be my aiders; surely I disbelieved in your associating me with Allah before; surely it is the unjust that shall have the painful punishment.”

Day three

29 June 2013
Bismillah
I’m going to try to keep it short today because I’m really sleepy.
Today I woke up without music and this continued until 2 minutes after the adhan for jumuah was called. Hmmm…
I just prayed and cooked and quickly left the house in search for peace.
I took the bus again although I was scared because I thought it might be the same driver as yesterday and I felt very embarassed about it (I left the bus way too early and the driver even looked at me to make sure that I didn’t want to return to the bus haha). But alhamdulillah it wasn’t, it was an old man who looked very kind and wise. And he has placed a card in his bus that read: “Sen benim yasadiklarimi hayal bile edemezsin”, it means “you can’t even imagine what I went through”. Deep.
I found a beautiful masjid and did something I’ve wanted to do or a really long time. I always wanted to just enter a masjid and stay there for hours reading and doing other things. But in Holland I could never do this because the women’s side is always locked except during lessons or friday prayer. I loved it and felt peace after such a long time. There were also children who had made the masjid their playground. People were getting annoyed at them but I thought it was so beautiful.. what other place would you like your children to be than in the masjid?? I hope I can see them again and give them sweets.
I prayed ‘asr (though constantly worrying I wouldn’t be able to hear the imam because of the noise outside) with another old woman. After the prayer she started talking to me (I hadn’t expected otherwise) and asking me questions which I answered in my broken Turkish :p it turned out that she’s from Trabzon which is a province next to Giresun my place of origin and also part of the black sea region. She also asked me if I would consider getting married in Turkey. I told her that I’m not thinking about it and that I thought it would be very hard (she had told me that she has two single sons :p). She said Allah makes things easy. And of course that’s true. But I think that it’s best to marry someone who has been raised in a similar society as there will be more similarities in your expectations, experiences in live and most importantly your view on life and your deen. Anyways I don’t want to think about these things but my mum thinks I need a man who will keep me under controle. Difficult 馃榾
Then I just went outside to find something to eat before I went back home. But I was too shy to go somewhere and get food for myself hahaha. So I decided to buy something to drink from the supermarket.
The bus drive back was quite dangerous as the driver was a crazy young man. Besides there was no place for me to sit in the beginning so I had to stand and pass people’s money to a boy who gave it to the bus driver. But it was so much that I forgot who gave what :O I’m just too pro at embarassing myself 馃檪
Today I told myself that I should stop considering other’s thoughts about me and just do my own thing as everybody does here. I don’t need to be ashamed of myself but istead try to be an example for others.. take what’s good about the people here and bring in some fresh positivity from where I come from!

Day two

28 June 2013
Bismillah
Today was…. different. We came to a place called Karasu with my uncle and his family and rented a house by the sea. My plan was to stay at home all day and study and walk on the beach in the evenings, perfect! But no it didn’t work out. The nieghbours play music very loudly ALL DAY LONG! It’s driving me crazy and even as I’m writing now (12:07 am) it’s as loud as it was during the day. People play music everywhere here in Turkey and they love to share it with others. 馃槮
So I decided to explore the city on my own, I loved it alhamdulillah.
I tried to be a bit more courageous too :p I walked for an hour to the city centre and kept on looking for a bank but couldn’t find one. Then I pushed myself to ask someone 馃榾
When I got my money there was an old woman who asked me if I could help her to check how much money she has on her account which I did too 馃檪
Then I went to the shop and bought me some organic drink and chocolate. I never knew that there were so many organic products here and even an organic supermarket! I also saw peanut butter of the Dutch brand calv茅, something from back home 馃榾
On my way back I decided to take the bus. They call it “dolmus” here which means “it’s full”. It’s almost always full or otherwise packed. I was really scared to go on my own because I didn’t know how much I would have to pay and I would have to tell the bus driver when I wanted to leave as there are almost no busstops and people get in an our anywhere. Alhamdulillah though I did it.. I just asked how much it would cost to a certain place. Then some people stood up on the avenue where I needed to be so the bust stopped and I left with them. I had to walk another fifteen minutes because I left the bust way too early but it was my first time so I forgive myself :p I was just too scared to say “could you please stop at an appropriate place” because I can’t talk very loudly and I’m too shy to talk to strangers haha. Next time I might do it…
I saw many interesting things and if I wasn’t ashamed of randomly taking pictures of everything I would’ve done so!
The marketing branche is really funny here, on the roads you see posters of all kinds of brands (but mostly of window brand :p). But the funny thing is that they just put the logo of the brand on a poster and nothing else with it. Not like “macdonalds – I’m lovin’ it” but simply “istikbal” or “primapen” etc. etc. As if that will persuade someone to buy from them! Weird people :p

Something beautiful was the big writing “ya malikilmulk” on a big building. I think it was done by the owner to remind himself that Allah is the owner of everything and that his building is nothing compared to what Allah possesses, everything in the heavens and the earth.
I saw a turtle and people cycling on the highway. There are also many wild dogs walking around and they often sit on the roads. One of them couldn’t get away from the road either because it was so thirsty/hungry or because it was wounded. So one man stopped by the highway (something that no one would ever do in the west to save a wild dog, just because we abide by the rules) and saved the dog! It was such a beautiful scene, may Allah reward the man.
I don’t remember much more from today.. we drove for two hours and adventurous they were 馃槈 crazy uncle and crazy traffic says enough. It’s just too funny how little people are bothered by traffic rules. Yes they exist and people get fined for breaking them but still!
I saw that a place is called “kurudil” which means dry tongue. Haha that’s so random and weird. And this is only one of the weird things that Turkish people do. Just tooo funny.
One last thing.. I noticed that nobody looks at their phone while walking, nor do they take pictures or everything like we do. Instragram hasn’t really made it’s way to Turkey 馃檪 this is soo good.. people are much more social and open here.
I’m done writing although I probably forgot to mention many things. The music is still on (12:42 am). I don’t know what I should do. I’m going to ask my brother if he can pick me up and take me anywhere where I don’t have to hear music. It’s really distracting and makes me feel so bad.. I hope I can sleep.. it’s so crazy that once I fall asleep I forget everything about where I am.. when I woke up yesterday it took me a few seconds to remember that I’m in Turkey not Holland. Ok byeee

Turkey 2013 – first day

26 June 2013
Bismillah,
Yesterday evening my dad finally bought tickets for me, my mum and my brother to Turkey. So today I prayed fajr at home and dhuhr in Istanbul. Simply amazing and unbelievable. It’s such a crazy experience to decide that you will go to another country one day and the next day you find yourself actually in that country.
The night before we bought the tickets I saw a dream in which I stepped on a wooden boat in Amsterdam to take pictures of the water. The boat suddenly started to move and after half an hour I reached the shore of a village with indigenous people. I was quite scared at the beginning of the journey but calmed down as time went by. And this morning I had the same feeling, I just couldn’t believe that after two years I would go back to Turkey and be in ISTANBUL! And then we arrived and the dream came true… alhamdulillah!
It was really overwhelming. I noticed I was in a really emotional mood when the plane just left the airport and the personnel said while giving safety instructions that in case of emergency one should first save themselves and then their children. I could totally imagine a mother trying to save her children and dying herself. And then I saw Istanbul and the tears washed my tired eyes. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and yet it was true!
So many things I forgot about before I came here.. to list a few:
路 how different people are here compared to the west.. the way strangers interact with each other is just wow! You can talk to anyone as if you have known them for years, the strict social norms that I’m used to don’t apply here. I must say that it’s quite difficult for me to adapt to this because I’m really an introvert and I also feel unsecure about my Turkish.
路 the adhaan.. probably the best thing about my stay here is that although it’s not an islamically perfect state there’s a lot of islam here. More examples are sadaqah boxes at the cash desks of all shops, islamic signs (I read one today that said “on the day of judgment your sins may be shown to the ones you would least want to see them”), majority of women wearing hijab and some also khimar and men with beards and sunnah clothes and much more. I’m so grateful that I will be spending my summer and ramadhan here alhamdulillah.
路 the food!!! Although we eat Turkish food every day at home the food here really tastes like food! It’s so much more fulfilling and feels healthy. I think it’s because everything’s so fresh.. I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes but in Turkey i loveeeeee them!
路 all the imperfections. And that’s what makes it such a great place to be. No perfect streets with sidewalks, mess lying around at random places, dirty water.. hmm the list goes on 馃榾 but you finally come to a place where everything is fine even if it’s not perfect as long as it’s working, and believe me things do run so smoothly! They have a whole different mentally to what we have in the west, it’s important that we consider the implactions of this perfectionist attitudes that we grew up with. Although I must say that these people are obsessed with perfect grades at school and you aren’t a good student if you don’t get straight A’s. People are also quite obsessed with their appearance, but I guess this is a common trait of mankind..
路 people’s characters and use of language. This is kind of a repeat of my first point. But I’m just fascinated by the fact that all the Turks that I know in Holland are sooooo different to the ones here even though they come from the same country. This shows how much of a an effect our environment has on us.
路 family, those who have relatives nearby may have failed to notice this, but family is such a big blessing subhanAllah. People accept you in their house and care for you and love you no matter how you look or behave because you are their family member. Alhamdulillah a great feeling indeed!
Ohh this country is so beautiful! Everybody should come and see it, and experience being in Istanbul especially..
I keep thinking how would it be if I were to live here? I have different thoughts about it. On the one hand it would be beautiful because as long as I’m here I feel at peace and happy.. everything about this place amazes me. On the other hand I think that I would have to become a whole different person if I want to survive in this society. The truth is, I don’t think I want to become a Turkish woman from Turkey. Even more true is that I’m a Turkish muslimah from Holland, and I have been this all my life. In my country (I consider this to be Holland) I’m quite a normal person despite my strangeness. But here I’m a weird person and I stand out despite me being of the same nationality and religion as anyone else. SubhanAllah. Now I understand why hijrah is such a hard thing, it’s so much more than getting used to a different climate, food and language. It’s about adopting a whole different way of life and mentality.
So the conclusion is.. I think I would have a hard time living in Turkey. The hardest thing would be that I would have to learn to be assertive which I’m really not!! Also, I’m afraid of becoming a different person, but I know that I have to change in order to be a better muslim. So I would rather choose to live in a place where people are more islamic in their manners and mentality. I wouldn’t like my children to be like the children here, they are lovely but no.. not quite what I imagined..
That was it for today.. its actually the next day already and I can’t sleep as always happens on the first night that I’m sleeping over at someone else’s house. I’m also mentally drained out because I spent the whole day with my cousin who loves talking. I get really tired of talking a lot and yearn to be alone. So I finally get the time during night ahh!! Tomorrow will be really different though in sha Allah. Today was just getting used to it all and staying at my uncles house. I hope I can find wifi somewhere and post this and read my messagesss!!!

Regret

Do you know this feeling of guilt?
More like hate
For myself
Lets just delve

Into my sea of feelings
So deep I can hardly breathe
Allah please free me.

I dont know why i did this
If only i could go back
And fight against myself
To get back on track..

My only comfort is the knowledge
That even though i didnt stay true to my pledge
It didnt happen by chance
No i will not pretend it

I am guilty but even more ashamed
Humiliated by myself and defamed.
Suffient are You to hear me pray
I promise to not go astray..

I wish you didnt have to witness me this way..