Where do we go from here: Processing Out Loud

Salaam everyone. So today I just have a lot of things running through my mind, and I thought maybe doing some processing in writing could not only be good for my own self, but if I posted it that perhaps someone else could find benefit in my thoughts.

Even here in Algeria where the news tends to get here a day or two late, it has been a rough week for me. It started off with me worrying about my single working mother and what would happen to her health care as Republicans vehemently cut Obamacare with no viable alternative in mind, and only got worse from there.

Around mid-week I woke up to the news of a possible Muslim ban, and the beginning of “The Wall.” I had hoped that maybe the big, beautiful wall would keep the new president occupied for a bit longer and that his immigration plans would have to wait, but by the end of the week I got the news that the order had been signed.

Normally, I would only be outraged about this on an empathetic level. I would be angry about the human rights violations that are involved in sending thousands of people back to their war-torn countries, back into the hands of the very terrorists you are scared of. About the unfairness of it, about the inhumanity of it.

I would be depressed to see the dangerous direction my home country is heading in, turning away legal visa holders and legal residents from their studies, jobs, and families, all because of the country they are from, the religion they profess, or worst yet, a mere “suspicion.”

But being in the situation I am now in life, I am also deeply worried on a personal level. My husband is from Algeria, not a country on The List, but you never know what may happen in the future. We have a processing visa case; we have just finished saying alhamdulillah that after six months of waiting our first petition has been approved, we had just gotten excited and started gathering our documents for the next step, when we got the news that it could all potentially be put on hold with the flourish of one man’s pen.

After two years of not seeing my home or my family, some of which I have spent here in Algeria, I was so excited to be able to go home again in the next 3-4 months.

Now, however, I am not only worried about my husband’s visa case, but what may happen to the both of us if we actually get to the point of landing in an American airport. What humiliation we may possibly be subjected to because of how we look, and in the worst case scenario, that phone call I might have to make to my mother from the airport to tell her that I was here, I was this close, but now she may not get to see her daughter and son-in-law for four to eight more years.

Obviously, thinking like this I have begun to fall into a bit of despair. I even began considering last night how, if Algeria stays off the list, and we get this visa, how we can change how we look to pass through the airport with less scrutiny, less fear. As I write I am scared to hit the “publish” button, because what if they check my social media and decide that I am anti-America, or that I am some sort of dissenter and they deny our visa or our entry?

My husband has been seeing my distress and told me the other day, “What, do you think Trump is a god? He can’t cause us any pain unless God permits him to.”

And I know that. My head knows that. My brain understands that Allah only wants the best for his worshippers, and that He is the Best of Planners. I know in my head that I will survive whatever He has destined for me.

But my heart is sad. My heart is devastated to see where the country I call home is going. My heart is scared. It keeps telling me, I just want to go home, I just want to see family, I just want to have a job and have kids and live a normal life. It is horrified.

Last night I was praying my witr prayer, and I recited “Qul huw Allahu ahad…”

Say, “He is Allah, [who is] One,

Allah, the Eternal Refuge

He neither begets nor is born,

Nor is there to Him any equivalent.”

While I recited these words, the despair began to lift from my heart a little bit. My husbands words finally began to sink in deeper: everything that happens to me, or him, or the whole entire world, is Allah’s will. And I began to realise that though I may not have any action that I can take here in this world, in this moment, the most important action I can take in this situation is with Allah.

So I woke up for tahajjud (night prayer) this morning. It has been a habit I have wanted to form for a long time now and just haven’t been able to, but this morning it was the easiest thing for me to do. Because I had to, because I have no other option. Alhamdulillah.

So I got up for tahajjud, I prayed and I poured my heart out to Allah, the only One who can do anything for me. I went back to sleep after fajr, and when I woke up a couple of hours later, I found the article plastered all over my news feed about how a judge blocked part of the ban on Muslims, and people were being allowed into the country. Yes, people are still being detained, people are still being left in limbo. But it was a step in the right direction.

And it gave me a little bit of hope.

So inshaAllah I will keep making dua, keep praying during the end of the night, keep placing my trust in the One with the Ultimate Power, without Whose permission my heart would not even be beating. And inshaAllah He will not burden a soul with more than it can bear, and He is the Best of Planners. He is sufficient for me.

Also, if you would like to hear more about my political thoughts you can have a look at this article from immediately post-election, which I think still contains some very important information for you today.

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4 thoughts on “Where do we go from here: Processing Out Loud

  1. Subhanallah I think every Muslim out there is as scared as you right now Sister Ashley but do not despair. They plan and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners. Just as your husband said, nothing shall happen unless Allah swt permits it. Hasbunallah wa ni’mal wakeel. Allah is the best disposer of affairs. It might seem tough but insha Allah he will see us all through it all. Ameen.. just keep doing what you are doing which is du’a and may Allah swt grant you and your husband tawfeeq in the pending applications.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ashleybounoura

      Ameen, and jazakillahu khairan for your kind comment. It does mean so much to me, and it gives me hope to know that we as a community can come together and show each other the love and support we all need so much these days!

      Liked by 1 person

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