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As the oldest child in her family, twelve-year-old Dini had always been close to her father; so when he died suddenly, she was devastated. Her devastation turned to anger when she learned that her father had an affair with her aunt who was now pregnant. She also learned that her mother was pregnant from her father.
As a struggling widow, Dini’s mother decided to place her three youngest children in an orphanage. She also had to sell valuables in the house just so the family would have money to buy food. About four years later, a relative told Dini that her mother was getting remarried. Dini was very hurt by this and didn’t understand why her mother hadn’t told her. She felt like she didn’t have anyone she could depend on since her father had disappointed her, and now her mother had done the same.
Dini became friends with the troublemakers at school and went through a rebellious period. She skipped classes, didn’t wear the school uniform and got into fights. When several of her friends faced serious problems, Dini began to ask questions: “What is it that I’m looking for? Religious rules don’t make me happy. But a free life without the rules of religion isn’t something I want either.”
The month of Ramadan arrived and Dini became diligent with the religious practices of fasting and prayer. One night, during Ramadan, she decided to pray the tahajud prayer. The tahajud prayer is not one of the five required daily prayers. It is only done at midnight and, in particular, it includes petitions that ask God for signs. Dini set her alarm clock and woke up to pray. She says, “I had such strong faith that whatever I asked God for that night, God would listen and give His answer.” At the end of the prayer which she had memorized, she cried out to God and said, “God, I am confused. I’m very confused about the way to meet Your approval.” She continued, “God, if you wish for me to live life within your demands, then tonight show me the right path. If you do not show me, God, then let me live life the way I want. I won’t ever again care about the rules of religion. And if I die, don’t send me to hell. I didn’t know what was right! It wouldn’t be fair for me to go to hell, God. You never showed me the right way. What I want, God, is to be shown the right path tonight. I will live my life the way you appoint it.”
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