FROM ZAMBOANGA TO MAKKAH
Finding Dialogue in My Life Then and Now
By: Zsabrina Isa M. Julaili
It was 10 years ago when I met the Silsilah Dialogue Movement. My life was totally different. I was aloof and shy. I didn’t have a social life. Right after school, my father would fetch me to go home. It was a routine world for me. When I didn’t like the things that were happening to me, I felt angry and got irritated. I broke out and became frail. I got a low sense of dialogue to everything.
But in some point of our lives, we face transitions. It happened without expectations, without any warning signs. I stepped into college in a university. I redirected myself to other paths. I went for a biology course where everyone else went to nursing, (nursing is a top course in our country.) I kept to myself and accepted the challenge. Until one group touched my life and made an enormous change on it. There was a big realization in me that I could say that I would never be the same person I was before and I would never have that same—old-lame-story anymore. And that I will have to continue to journey to rediscover my inner self.
The Silsilah Dialogue Movement founded in the Philippines, in particular in Zamboanga city is a movement for dialogue and peace. They helped me to become who I am today. They are an instrument send by Allah to allow me to grow and be the best that I can be. People may see me crying not because I am deeply hurt but I feel sad with what they are doing. I feel sad because they are not given the chance to see the exquisiteness of life and that they can’t see Allah in their everyday life.
I remember when I had the opportunity to go field monitoring for the Center for Holistic Health Care in Sitio Bagacay, Brgy. Baluno in this city. I met families and individuals. One point that struck me when I was there was how they lived their life so simply. I met a little girl. I named her Anna. I think she is 6 years old now. She’s shy and always quiet. She brought me back to the past where we all lived a simple life. No gadgets. No social medias. And no complications. She made me realize that we can still live life at its best and on its simplest form. That we can find happiness with the little things around us. When we were about to go home, I gave her 20 pesos and she was so happy to receive it. You could see it in her eyes. She shared it with her mom. For some it may be little but for this family it was already huge. The smile that I painted on their faces was irreplaceable. And I am so happy to witness that I got the privilege to make others happy.
This is one thing that Silsilah has taught me. Being the simple person that I can be. And it was never far from the teachings of Islam. Living life as simple as it is. Being happy and contented on what we have. On how great you deal with yourself is one way to say that you got to have a real and authentic dialogue with yourself.
It was also having the patience in me that challenged me to make more “Sabar” in all the dealings in life. Especially when you want something and you can’t get it as quickly as you want to have it. “Qadar” or Allah’s destiny will definitely happen. Whatever I plan is still in the hands of my loving Creator because He purposely has driven my life and Allah knows the best for me. Whatever I have right now is because of Allah. Whoever I am today is because Allah wants me to be this way. And whoever I am with is a blessing given.
My journey to inner peace is driven. I develop the maturity in dealing with my Creator. We build consciousness that whatever we do and whatever we plan for the finest of us, still Allah is the best planner. We are given the paramount for us. Praying and prayers are more important now.
Being with God is also being with your own self. You will be able to rediscover the beauty, truth and goodness in you. The uniqueness of us begets what we are doing to our own reality. What we think and what we believe depicts what our heart really desires. Normally, people will see you in your superficial beauty and not your deep and true identity. I guess it is because it was the first line presented to us. But if we really look into this unfathomable and authentic beauty, we may appreciate our own selves, our own flesh and our own exclusivity.
More so, loving and respecting people around you is also another sign that you love Allah and having constant dialogue with Him. Who can’t see God in the eyes of people you meet along in your journey? Think about it. It may not literally mean that way but when you dissect this question you may find out the answer to this. Yes, God is in their eyes because they are also a creation made by God. Like me and you. Like us. Journeys, relationships, friendships and acquaintances may be dealt crucially but other lessons pondered to me on my journeys in life that help me in handling with people are the 3 simple S’s that are so easy to say but difficult to portray:
BEING IN SOLIDARITY.
I also learned how to appreciate life that comes from Allah’s creation. I learned how to respect and value it as I was not giving attention to it before. Sun rising, sun setting, flowers blooming, moon shining in the dark night—these are some of the signs that Allah has still constant and continuous dialogue with us. And these are free. We are still blessed even if we are considering the number one destroyer of the gift of life that Allah bequeathed to us. Even if we are granted to be the stewards of this creation, we still ignore it. Simple and little things that will help our Mother Earth can rectify and give a huge impact.
As a whole, Silsilah taught me a lot from being a complicated individual to a simple human being. I get to love myself and my family more and more and have been motivated by them. I left Silsilah physically to fulfilling my promise to my parents but that doesn’t mean that I totally left them. I am and will still have commitment in promoting dialogue and peace wherever I go. They are still in my heart and all the things that happened to me will never be eradicated. I will always be with them in this mission. Ten years of beautiful moments and full of life lessons are the wonderful things that happened to me and I could consider as one of the highlights of my life.
And now I am here in Makkah, Saudi Arabia working as a staff nurse in Security Forces Hospital. I have been working here for 2 years already. It may be a tough experience because I am far from my comfort zone but I will never forget what I had before having what I have right now. Thank you Silsilah for everything. You will always be in my heart. Congratulations and Happy anniversary Silsilah!
Saudi Arabia is one of the countries in the world where Silsilah members and friends join in the Harmony Chain Initiative and praying for Peace.