Thursday, March 24, 2011

Big Shoes to Fill

Throughout my life I have struggled with the question: Who am I? As a girl/woman I was bombarded by so many different and sometimes opposing messages by the influences around me, including my family (Pakistani), religion (Islam), media/magazines (Vogue, Beverly Hills 90210, General Hospital), teachers (often feminists) and friends (rolling stones). Unfortunately, my self-image and identity changed as often as did my shoe size (10!).

Looking back, I realize I did not have a clear understanding of what God (Allah in Arabic) expected from me so I filled that void with the suggestions of those around me. For sure, Allah, our Creator, Sustainer and to Whom we will return, did not leave us without guidance. Out of His Infinite Mercy he has pointed out female role models who reached human perfection for us to emulate. It is our job to seek them out, study their personalities and make them into templates for our own lives.

As I steadily creep towards mid-age, I regret it has taken me so long to figure out (sort of) who am I, where am I going and how am I going to get there. But as I endeavor to understand our role models and how to apply their lessons to my own life, I would like to share my discoveries, adventures and no doubt pitfalls with other girls/women on the same mission to live a life pleasing to God, God-willing.

The world is currently undergoing an Awakening and women play a key role in the struggle towards global peace, justice, unity and prosperity. Indeed, success will only come if women acknowledge that their God-given position, role and aims in life are much deeper, broader, loftier and vital than most of us have been told.

This blog is dedicated to the women (past, present and future) everywhere struggling to perfect themselves, their family and friends as well as their societies for the pleasure of God.

To inspire us forward, here are a few quotes from revolutionary leader Imam Khomeini as he addresses the women of Iran. These are as applicable today as they were decades ago:

"Women have shown that they stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their menfolk in the struggle; one could even go so far as to say that they lead the way." (May 17, 1979)

"Today's women, like the men, must be properly educated and concern themselves with the issues (of the day), they too must exercise sound judgment in their involvement in the (country's) affairs, and God willing, they will be successful. (September 10, 1980)

"Be good mothers for your children, good advisers to society and hard workers for the needy, as, praise God, you already are." (March 16, 1981)

"Strive to purify your character and to make your friends do likewise. Strive so that you react to the outrages committed against you." (March 12, 1985)