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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

JOURNAL: What’s Your North Star?

Amidst the bustling chaos of our modern world, individuals from various walks of life seek refuge and solace in elements of nature.

Anas Alzamli, a junior in the College of Engineering, reflects on two seemingly different worlds, but for Alzamli, they converge into a single harmonious existence, where every leaf, mountain and river echo the verses of a divine script.

“I think Islam emphasizes the fact that we have one creator and it’s crazy to think about that Allah built such diverse beauty and nature where you can get desert, you can get flat land, you can get mountains, you can get rivers and Amazon forests, like all this stuff,” Alzalmi said.

To him, nature isn’t merely a spectacle but a reflection of Allah’s magnificence, manifesting in every grain of sand and every towering peak.

“I actually prayed on top of a mountain once. Like you feel so connected to God and to his creation. You’re not like in a cement block with carpet underneath you — you are on the natural ground, you feel the natural winds around you,” Alzamli said.

He said his moments of solitude and contemplation amid nature serve not merely as an escape but as a holistic therapy, allowing his senses, thoughts, and spirit to immerse fully in the beauty surrounding him.

“Anytime I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, like going to an area with sightseeing or like going on a walk in a forest preserve, I just feel everything slow down. You realize what’s really important and the bigger picture of things,” Alzamli said.

His adventures, from rock scrambling to canyoneering, speak of more than physical exploits but embody a unique form of worship, a soulful exploration of the beautifully crafted terrains, rich with beauty and challenge.

“A couple of years ago, me and my family went on our first vacation together for the first time in a really long time. We went to Utah [for vacation], and we basically just went there for nature purposes. And after that, I fell in love with nature,” Alzamli said.

In the peaceful Utah mountains, Alzamli’s prayers felt especially meaningful, as they spread out with the wind under the open sky, speaking sacred conversations into the wide-open spaces.

Alzamli’s discourse goes beyond personal experience and taps into a universal concern, acknowledging the urgency of environmental issues such as global warming.

“Islam has taught us to take care of our planet and to keep it clean and to treat animals with dignity and humanity. I mean, even the way we kill animals to eat, like we have to do it a certain way or else we don’t,” Alzamli said.

Even within the urban landscapes of the Midwest, Alzamli carves out spaces where nature’s gentle whispers take part of his daily routine, offering reflection amidst the chaos of city life.

“It’s kind of hard in the Midwest and in the city to do that, but I try my best to go near the lake every now and then or get a little bit of sun if I’m feeling down,” he said.

As his observations delve deeper, Alzamli learns a delicate yet powerful lesson from nature: a song, where different voices come together, sharing and blending without any fight or disagreement.

“Everything in nature, live in harmony together — even if they’re like completely different. And there’s no communication or anything, obviously. You know, just harmony and I think that’s beautiful,” Alzamli said.

In a moment of reflection, Alzamli said, “I feel like nature enhances your five senses you have, to a point where they’re so enhanced that you like feel something divine.”

His intertwining journeys, through the realms of faith and the earthly wonders of nature, creates a tapestry which he hopes to invite others to think upon their own spiritual and physical pathways.

“Nature to me is what allows me to get away from my responsibilities and duties that I have to do on an everyday basis,” Alzamli said. “I can just look and observe and admire the beauty of our Creator.”

Through the eyes of Alzamli, who sought and found solace and spiritual connection in the panoramic landscapes, he wants to nudge others to explore and find their own moments of communion — where their souls and nature entwine.

This story was written by Uzair Qhavi. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Uzair Qhavi
Uzair Qhavi, Assistant News Editor
Uzair Qhavi is an assistant news editor at the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 year. He is a senior from Franklin, WI studying political science. In his free time, he enjoys watching movies and binging television shows. This year Uzair is excited to work on in-depth projects and have a fun start to his last year at the Wire.

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