I never realized how strong it could be.
For a while I didn’t feel like I belonged anywhere. No matter what Muslim organizations or institutions I joined, I never felt as though I was part of a Muslim group, never felt like I was surrounded by people I wanted to be like. There was far too much corruption around me.
I was patient. I waited to see change, encouraged it, hoped for it.
But of course, nothing.
As a teenager myself, it was painful to watch friends fall into temptations they once shamed. It hurt to hear stories of a Muslim group bashing another for being more successful.
It especially pained me to see knowledge go down the drain, and with it, its carriers.
None of it made sense to me and all I wanted was to be around real people, people who valued Islam and its teachings.
I sought honesty, respect, and happiness.
And so, I prayed for it.
I asked for a group of people who could lead me to the right path, people who I could point to and say “that’s who I want to be like.” I asked for a place where I didn’t feel like a stranger, for a place filled with only benevolence, a place that would bring me no harm.
Alhamdulillah, for my prayers were heard and I so quickly found what I was looking for and much more.
I’d heard about Utopia-Boston before, but besides its name, I knew nothing about it.
I had recently become acquainted with one of its mentors. Interestingly enough, she wasn’t Muslim herself, but it was clear the organization had a great impact on her (as it eventually would on me). She’d told me to join as an assistant mentor and that she knew I would love it; she was right.
It has been over a year since I joined and I’ve never been so attached to anything so quickly. My usual cautious conscience was almost completely silenced by my second semester. I’d already felt like I had a second family, a second home. Nothing was more comforting than feeling like I belonged.
I now have people to look up to and learn from. I don’t think I’ve ever met a group of mentors who conveyed all of the morals and values one should seek.
From Br. Nabil, I learned leadership, from Nabeel, modesty, from Sr. Nargess, kindness, from Sr. Myriem, strength, from Neda, patience, from Sr. Amirah, dedication, from Sr. Nadia, creativity, and from Br. Ehab, I saw the beauty of Islam and the Quran.
That’s what I aspire to be like.
The most important lesson I’ve learned since joining however, is to keep faith and trust in Allah, and make duaa always, for if your intentions are clear, InshaAllah so will be your path.