A Letter to My Younger Sister: Discover Yourself

Dear Sana,
Since the day you were born, I vowed to protect you to the best of my ability. Being five years older than you, and moving every two years from school to school around the world, I have seen so much of the world that you have not yet experienced. Despite living in America now, the land of opportunity, there is so much this country needs to work on. With the ascending turmoil of islamophobia in our country, it is important now more than ever, to keep your iman strong.
As a member of the next generation of leaders, you must contribute to portraying Islam in the best light possible.
Most countries view the female child as a burden, but I see you as a warrior who will show the world that you can do anything you set your mind to. Growing up in different parts of the globe, I understand that there will always be people who want to tear you down, just because they have bitter or just low self-esteem. Don’t ever take their words to heart. Ultimately, you will have your family, friends, and the Ummah by your side. We will always support you because we want the best for you.
Beauty is a subjective and abstract quality that society has always kept on a pedestal. To some, it may mean showing off skin, but in Islam, it is the purity and warmth of your soul that emanates radiation and substitutes all the superficial make-up you may wear.
Treat others as you wish to be treated and say “Alhamdulillah” even when things can’t get any worse in your opinion, because trust me, they can. With this attitude, you will never be depressed a single day in your life. I know how passionate you are about helping others, so don’t let that fire for kindness burn out. That’s what makes you beautiful and that is what everyone will fall in love with. At the end of the day, it is all the good deeds you have done, that will determine the kind of person you are.
I know you are still young, but as you grow older, there will be times when you are in predicaments and you may not know what decision to take. Going to college and being away from parents tests your faith.

At the end of the day, it is all the good deeds you have done, that will determine the kind of person you are.

Always act on your gut feeling because if you get the slightest sense that something is wrong or not halal, walk away. Alcohol and drugs are common in college culture here but I promise you, one taste of the poison is enough to leave you wanting more. Trust your instincts and ask yourself “What would the Prophet (PBUH) do?” Surround yourself with friends who support you and will be honest when you are about to do something outrageous. You need optimism in your life, especially when you are in college, which consists of the hardest and most crucial years of your life.
In case you are stuck between two decisions, consult me and more than anyone else, ask Allah. Have faith in the unseen and understand that whatever happens, is for the best, even if it doesn’t seem like the best to you. You are special, even if you don’t see it just yet. I will protect you till the day I die but at some point, I am going to have to let you use your wings and fly on your own. The world is your oyster, but remember: it is just temporary.
Your Sister

Contributed by Rafa Farihah
Image: Flickr