Whenever I have travelled – from tropical Malaysia, to the wilderness of Africa, to the prestige of London and the historical greatness of Ireland – I find a story where ever I go. Of course, in my great country Australia too. All you have to do is listen, and you find soon enough that everybody has a story. Incredible ones. The human race both disappoints and truly inspires me, and I hope to convey that in my writing. People say journalists are bad people – but I have only met great journalists, editors and reporters who I have learned a great deal from and motivated me to become better. Because in the journalistic field, you never really stop learning. There’s always room for improvement, and journalists have an important role in society to inform the public of the world around them.
The most vital thing I’ve learnt in Islam which I incorporate into journalism is no matter what evil and good I see in people, it’s important not to judge too harshly (that would be bias for one, we need to be as objective as possible in our reporting) because EVERYONE is capable of anything. ‘The greatest jihad (struggle) is to battle your own soul; to fight the very evil within yourself,’ Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). We can always look at others and improve certain things about ourselves. There’s so much worldly wisdom in this one quote, and it truly inspires and humbles me.
But let me not disillusion you – becoming a Muslim and incorporating it into my way of life has not been easy in the slightest. It’s hard, and you learn more every day. People judge you, even Muslims judge you. I’m not going to just put some holy light around it… being a Muslim has tested my patience more than ever before, more than I ever imagined. But they say the right path is not always the easiest one – and despite how hard it is at times, it also brings an incredible sense of peace in my heart and into my life. I wouldn’t have it any other way. It is part of me now, but not all of me. It makes me happy, it makes me cry, and it makes me question a lot of things about society and about the Dunya (this life).
All I can say is that I find rest with Allah (swt), and no matter what I go through, I know I am never alone every time I make Salat to my Creator. Truly, ‘ verily with every hardship comes ease’ (Al-Inshirah 94:6).