O believers! Fear Allah as he should be feared and die not but as true Muslims. All together hold fast to the rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves. Remember Allah's favors upon you when you were enemies; He united your hearts, so by His favor you became brethren; you were at the brink of the fiery pit and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes his revelations clear to you, so that you might be rightly guided.When my alarm went off this morning, I did not want to get up (astagferullah), but my little 11 year old niece, excited that it is summer so that she can fast before school starts, knocked loudly on my door, reminding me to get out of bed. She and my son were already awake and anxiously awaiting suhor. Their excitement was an inspiration and I felt momentarily ashamed for not having wanted to wake up. Before accepting Islam, I had never known the beauty of fasting and praying together the way that I experience it as a Muslim and as I witness my son and niece's excitement, I realize that we are family - kin - but we are also brethren and fellow believers together. Of all the blessings that I have received, my son and nieces and nephews are some of the greatest. They exemplify for me what it means to hold fast to the rope of Allah and have often been the little reminders that I need to stay grateful and excited about being a Muslim.
As my niece set the table and my son vacuumed the carpet and laid down the sheets for prayer, I smiled inside, exceedingly grateful for being awake and for having been rightly guided to Islam.