How Shaykh-ul-Islam changed my life

The first thing that struck me about Shaykh ul-Islam, Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri was his voice. I remember the first time I sat in one of his lectures, I couldn’t see his face and I didn’t really know much about him, but as soon as I heard his voice, the calmness, the peace and tranquillity of his voice was something very distinct, and I knew he was no ordinary scholar.

Then as I listened to the things he was saying my heart was being shown Islam in a completely different light. Up to now my Islam had been purely physical, a set of mechanical rituals, it was lacking the real spirit of Islam.

After listening to two of his lectures I realised I had been missing the essence of Islam. I had made the choice to accept Islam as my way of life, as Almighty Allah as my Lord and the Holy Prophet Salallahu alayhi wasallam as my Prophet and guide but I was still missing something; although I had accepted all these things, after listening to Shaykh ul-Islam talk about the importance of love of the Holy Prophet Salallahu alayhi wasallam I realised I had failed to embrace the Beloved Salallahu alayhi wasallam in my life. It was then that I realised I was missing love and submission of the Holy Prophet Salallahu alayhi wasallam, my Islam had been so empty and lifeless without it. I remember feeling angry that all this time had passed and I had been so oblivious of this, something which is so important and central to our lives both in this world and the next. People had always spoken to me about prayer and fasting and all the outward aspects of Islam and yet everybody had failed to mention how important this aspect was. How was this possible, how can you talk to someone about prayer without mentioning the bringer of prayer? It didn’t make any sense and this is why everything that Shaykh ul-Islam said made complete sense, because the priorities were right. It was from that day that my Islam, my life changed.

That day he encouraged me to bring about a spiritual change, a year on and he encouraged me to make a massive physical change: the hijab. I had the desire to wear the hijab but I didn’t have enough courage, my personal situation was difficult and so I didn’t have the strength within me to wear it. After listening to Shaykh ul-Islam at the Al-Hidayah 2005 event I decided I had had enough of waiting around and the hijab would go on and would not come off for anyone. I remember Shaykh ul-Islam answering a question on hijab and the sensitive situation of Muslims at the time and he said to stay firm and wear the hijab, my heart felt that it was a command for me personally and I couldn’t go against it. Those words gave me the inner strength that I had been lacking and I made the intention that I would wear the hijab as soon as I got back home. Now I love the hijab, it makes me feel safe and I’m comfortable knowing that when people look at me they see a Muslim girl and that is an identity that I’m most content with.