I'm moving to Washington D.C.

In just a few weeks, I’m moving to Washington DC.

I’m uprooting 20+ years of living in NY for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a new community from scratch. After visiting Colorado and New Mexico for an Islamic spiritual journey in August, I realized my true purpose in life is to answer the question: what are you building for God?

In New York, I’ve been organizing and working on community efforts for more than a decade. LiftUp Basketball is a great example of that hard work. I see those kids improve, bond with each other, and find community, and find purpose. It energizes my being, keeps me striving, hungry to see good community come alive.

Going to DC, I have a chance to build it on a bigger scale, with intelligent, loving people who have good intentions. This is where life is taking me next.It’s rare to find new friends and family that you want to hold on to so dearly. I knew I could not let go of them. DC is also a time for me to discover myself. I’ll be living on my own, starting a new job with an incredible team, buying my first car, and taking even more responsibility. And that’s all exciting!

Most importantly, I see this move as fi sabillilah, for the sake of Allah. I am building for community because I believe that’s my purpose. I believe with my skillset, with my vision, and my intention, I can work with an awesome team and bring it to life.

That doesn’t mean I won’t come back to NY. Because some homes never change. And I see great things for the NY community, with me playing an important role. But I need to move away to build myself, to learn what I can, to grow, and then come back strong and empowered, ready to take on the challenge.

I need your duas so I stay on the right path. I need your guidance so that I make the right moves. I need your help because I can’t do this on my own. I need your love so that I feel comforted in the lonely nights. I need your patience as I adjust to a new change in my life. I need you to believe in me that with this awesome team, we can build and promote good.

Most importantly, I need you to answer these questions for yourself: What are you doing to build? For your family? For community? For God?

If you find the answer, you may just find yourself. I know I did.

Ashraf Ali