Interview with Laila
Question: How long have you been Muslim and how old are you?
Answer: Ever since I was born. I am 14.
Question: What are the most important things in your life?
Answer: Hmm (thinks to herself), I am trying to think, I never really thought about this before…well I know it 'should' be Allah, but I dunno I just haven't reached that Islamic point yet.
Question: So, if it isn't Allah, then what are the most important things in your life other than him?
Answer: The issues that I go through. I am being totally honest.
Question: You said that it 'should' be Allah, can you tell me why it isn't?
Answer: Well (pauses), I'm a bad girl.
Question: In what way?
Answer: Because like--- (laughs) God are you writing 'everything' I say?---because somebody told me that you can figure out your standing with Allah by looking at His standing with you…and cuz I don't like pray five times a day and everything its kind of like I am ignoring Him. So I am bad in that way. I am not practicing anything, I am just there. I never had that Islamic boost to make me do it. I dunno. It's actually quite mind-boggling.
Question: So you recognize that there is a problem?
Question: How long have you known that there is a problem?
Answer: For the past year. I have been arguing with myself about it.
Question: What have you done to find answers to your arguments?
Answer: Well, nothing. Just thought about it, is all.
Question: Then if you never found answers for your arguments, then that means that those arguments were never laid to rest, right?
Answer: Yes, they are still in my head. They actually come back quite often, but when I get distracted they get blown away. Like leaves in the wind, sigh.
Question: What do you think you can do to resolve your inner conflicts?
Answer: Well, maybe I could try to get myself some Islamic boosts. I mean I could pray more. And I could turn to the Quran for boosts also. I'm not sure what else I could do…
Question: What do you define 'Islamic Boosts' as?
Answer: Islamic boosts are like glimpses into how you would be internally if you reach your one goal.
Question: What is your 'one goal' and how do you intend to reach it?
Answer: My goal is happiness and to pass this test that is life with an A or an A- at least—no matter what anyone thinks of me. I guess another goal of mine is not to care what everyone else thinks and like not to be so attached.
Question: Attached to what?
Answer: To people.
Question: In what way don't you want to be attached to people?
Answer: In that I don't want to care if they dislike me for how I am/think/believe/dress etc.
Question: How long do you think you will live?
Answer: Personally, I don't know. I think that death can happen at any moment, at any time. Phphphttt (made a sound by blowing out of closed lips) God can take me at any time; I just hope I can reach my goal before that. Death is nothing scary. Its just going back to my…my best friend.
Question: But I thought you said in the beginning of your interview that you felt like you were ignoring God? How can you now call Him you best friend?
Answer: Well, I said that I hoped to reach my goal and THEN go to my best friend. I know that He isn't right now but I really really really hope He will be because I really want a friend like that who I can count on.
Question: You said that you don't fear death. Would you fear death if you didn't have Allah as your best friend? Why?
Answer: Yes. Because I would feel like I hadn't accomplished anything. I wouldn't feel safe because I would be afraid of hell. Don't wanna go there ya know…
Question: Well, since you said you aren't at the point where you feel you have given Allah His due right over you, shouldn't you fear death right now?
Answer: I should…but…I don't know why but I don't.
Question: Why don't you?
Answer: Well, I don't know why, but one time it was snowing and I was driving in a car with my family. We skid over a huge ice patch on the highway. As we were skidding and the cars were zooming past all around us, I remember thinking, "wow, this is it." And I wasn't afraid. I was actually content...while my family was screaming…
Question: But just because you felt content doesn't explain WHY you felt that way and why you didn't fear death. Do you fear it or don't?
Answer: I don't know, I am just really jumbled up right now.
Question: If you could die at any moment, then when do you plan to reform yourself?
Answer: As soon as possible.
Question: What does that mean? What is getting in the way of it being 'possible'?
Answer: Being lazy for one. Computers, TV, friends—they all get in the way.
Question: If these things get in the way of your 'reform', then what do you plan to do about them?
Answer: I am going to cut down their time so that I can find time to do other, more productive things, like pray and read the Quran and 'Arabian Nights' and stuff.
Question: And how will you make yourself fear death?
Answer: I guess by reading up on it. I don't understand a lot of things. I am not that educated and I know it. And I admit it. And if learning about it doesn't scare me then I would build my relationship with Allah and ask Him. Maybe He can help me, I really hope so…
After the above interview Laila prayed her Isha and stayed up for Fajr. Two weeks have now passed and she hasnt prayed since.