My Life

On My 20th Year Of Existence

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Just last night someone asked me how old am I. I felt different when I answered “I’m already 20.”

Two decades of my life already passed by. It’s been a great journey for me – from being a clueless little girl to a ‘learning’ lady. I still remember when I was 12, I was looking towards the future. I was eager to be 16, 18 or 20. I was eager to grow old. Perhaps, I was having this mindset that old people have an interesting life. Yes, they do. But, little kids too.

Although I was that eager to live in the future, I didn’t pressure myself to be old. While kids of my age were already becoming ladies, I was still beside my parents depending on them in everything. All things are really planned beautifully and now is my time to think and act more matured and to become more responsible.

I don’t celebrate birthdays but I was. My last birthday celebration was when I was 8 years old. Birthday cakes, balloons, party, visitors, games just like the typical birthday celebrations. Alhamdulillah my family has been trying hard to stop the wrong practices and engage to the right ones. Since then, I never celebrated birthdays again. Although when I was in high school my buddies knew my birthday so well that they greet me annually. Lately, I made them forget my birthday or made them know that my birthday is nothing special for me.

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I turned 20 last May 11. It was just like an ordinary day. But, it was somehow different. Although they say, the age of 20 is still young. For me, we should not think that we are too young because when we do we think that we always have a lot time left. We must always think that every day we get older. Actually, I was afraid. Not because I left the teen hood, but because I felt that I’m much closer to my grave. And I’m not prepared for it.

I’m not even 1% prepared. What if later, tomorrow, or next week I die…. Maybe I will be among the losers. I was thinking… are the deeds I did for the past 20 years enough? Are the things I did will bring me to Jannah? Indeed, every soul shall taste death. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi rajioon.

Brothers and sisters, there are still a lot of us, Muslims, who treat birthdays too special to celebrate. Remember that we only have two events to celebrate, the Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha, the rest are innovations.  Celebrating birthday has its pagan foundation and doing it is imitating the non-Muslim traditions.

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However, we can do supererogatory prayers instead and thank Allah for giving us another day to live. We should be always reminded that yearly we are closer to our graves so exert extra effort to attain Jannah.

May we all meet there one day.

Najmah is a 23 year old Filipino Muslim, Clinical Nutritionist and Med student. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia. Living in the Philippines since 2010. By Najmah contains posts about her life lessons, personal excellence and journey to becoming a doctor. You can also find her blogging on The Muslim Bricks

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