“Have faith in me” is a statement that seems to be commonly used in disseminating trust between one another. It sounds short and concise, but carries a deep meaning towards society. But what does it mean really?

I recall back my degree years – back in New South Wales, Australia and I dwell upon the lessons I have stumbled. It was a memorable journey, one which not only taught me to open my eyes bigger  but also gave me a whole new perspective towards the world. It has enriched me from within.

Upon arriving to Australia, a common first step for Muslim students would be to find out a list of halal restaurants and supermarkets available (because food always comes to mind before anything else). Like all other students abroad, I researched, I googled and I asked around for the best Halal cafes, bakeries and restaurants Australia has to offer. I have even made an effort to cook for myself. However, despite the efforts, temptations are limitless, especially once you socialise with friends from different cultural and religious backgrounds and the ones who brings you to bars and non-halal restaurants.

With that, comes lesson number one:

I personally think that the type of people  you surround yourself with, are the ones that will shape your attitude.

So, before you have faith in people, you first need to have faith in yourself. Have faith not to judge based on what is on the surface but instead have faith that you will seek out the best lessons from those around you. Have faith to do better, no matter the consequences. We tend to mimic people from our surrounding in hopes of fitting in. From experience, I have learnt that looking for friends also means that you are choosing your own teacher and that either helps to break or grow you.

As I have become more accustomed to the Australian slang, my days were becoming busy, filled with lectures and coffees at cafes. Thus, this meant spending more and more time away from home. Away from my safe comfortable praying space.

Hence, lesson number two:

As an undergraduate studying abroad, we are faced with many challenges. One of the many challenges was to look for a prayer room. This was when I decided to think outside the box in an effort to complete my daily prayers.

I remembered performing my prayer inside a changing room, with the use of my smart phone to pinpoint the ‘Qibla’ and my scarf as the ‘Sejadah’. Although it may feel troublesome at first, but with the right mindset and a positive attitude, it is doable and will never be impossible. One has to remember to NOT make excuses not to pray, but instead remember how easy it is. Because, sometimes, all you need is just the ground you stand on.

In the end, despite all your actions and good deeds, all that matters is your sincerity.

Your sincerity towards the people around you and your sincerity and genuine thoughts during your prayers. With whatever that is going on in our life, we should always strive to be better than we were before. No matter what our wrongdoing is, it is never too late to change and point the compass towards the right direction.

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) once conveyed:

Allah does not look at your appearance or your possessions; but He looks at your heart and your deeds.” (Abu Huraira: Muslim)