The official answer to it all is, ‘It is the will of Allah.’
If I go before I resurface next month, Surah 2, verse 286 should be on the front of the program: ‘Allah imposes not on any soul a duty beyond its scope.’
When my mind is quiet though, (which is often now), I feel incredibly fortunate.
At least once a day as of late, I’ve felt overwhelmed with gratitude.
A lifetime (really two lifetimes at this point) worth of experiences that let my family and my people live vicariously through things I could do and places I could go has turned on me; now I have feelings of guilt that I’ve come out of the other end, and somehow, for all the honest mistakes and reckless things I’ve done, I avoided the backbreaking choice that would have put me into a hole I couldn’t climb out of.
This will sound absurd to some, but I don’t know sometimes how I’ve avoided doing anything to turn my bloodline permanently against me.
This will sound absurd to some, but I don’t know how I avoided being reckless to the point of turning my Muslim people against me forever.
The people who don’t represent the same thing I represent but who respect what I’m about; I am embarrassed on a daily basis by how flush I am in genuine relationships. I continue to do better, but I’ve also come to accept it’s just impossible for me to spend time with everyone I’m cool with.
Leading into this Ramadan, I’ve also accepted that if the law of averages hasn’t derailed me yet, I don’t intend to ruin my own plans.
The peak version of ‘Malik Aziz’ is somewhere in the spectrum between post Mecca Malcolm (part of the world Ummah but sensitive to the concerns of the community I was born into) and Denzel (no desire to be ‘a minister’, but I can use my life and my art and my reputation as the best possible selling point of the type of person my community is capable of creating).
24/7/365 now I hold myself to that standard. There’s not a lot more to be gained by wondering why life seemed to wait for me to catch up to what I’m trying to achieve. It’s just time to go for it.
All praise is due to Allah, only the mistakes have been mine.