One day, around September or October of 2016, I was taking the local transit bus from my home on the way to McMaster University. Most of the time, living as a university student is a lonely path. I am in my fourth year of university and so I have experienced most of the tests one may face as a student, loneliness being one of them. I am a revert Muslim and I have dealt with loneliness for quite some time now. Loneliness has been something I have always tried to overcome and find new ways to battle. It was only on this day that I became certain I knew the answer to my question.
While riding the bus on the way to McMaster I opened up my copy of the Clear Quran, a thematic English translation, and I opened to where I left off the night before — the page opened to Surah 55, Ar-Rahman or The Most Merciful. I started reading and although I can’t remember exactly how I felt, I know that this was a sign from Allah to remind me of His Mercy. At the time, I probably didn’t make much of it and I didn’t quite allow it to move me as it should have. Once I got off the bus, loneliness sank in and I remember trying to fill the gap inside me by turning to social media, reading posts and messaging friends. My efforts were fruitless and my attempt made me feel more alone.
I left the library and went to the MSA prayer room in one of the temporary buildings across campus known as T13. The brother’s prayer room there is a great avenue to surround yourself with Muslim brothers and those who come to attend the Salat. And so I decided being surrounded by religious brothers was a good plan.
After some time in T13, I still didn’t feel satisfied, and opted to have some time by myself to ponder on my situation. I found my loneliness was an internal problem and even though I could be surrounded by people it didn’t go away. When I got outside I turned on my Quran app and began reciting along with a recording of Surah Baqara. It was at this time that it hit me. Allah subhana hu wa t’alaa who is the Most Merciful loves us so much and cares for us so much and has so much to tell us that He sent us a message the size of a book! In a time when I was lonely and seeking fulfilment I discovered that it was the Quran and the message from Our Creator and Lord that it contained. That was what I needed. Only Allah can really take us out of loneliness and seeing the Quran as a message from Allah to us really helped me fill the emptiness.
In a time when we constantly look at our cell phone for messages to see who cares about us, we should be looking to the Quran, especially since Allah loves us so much and sent such a message just for us.
Josh is a fourth year student at McMaster University, studying Peace Studies and Religious Studies. He reverted to Islam in September 2014, and has become an active member in the Hamilton Muslim community. He enjoys Lego, Star Wars, and volunteering.