I’m sure you know what it’s like to be in love. It’s like waking up everyday embracing what’s to come, because love is empowering. Getting lost in day dreams, not being able to get them out of your mind, and smiling at something they said or did. There is hope in love, so enduring what used to be difficult is not so anymore, because at the end of the day, you always have this wonderful amazing feeling to fall back on.
Why then, are we not in love with Allah?
Even though He is the Source of all our joy and happiness, with that description of being in love, you had someone else in mind, not Him.
Oh we love Him, of course we do. We marvel at His beautiful creation and say SubhanAllah. We stop a moment at a little miracle and say Alhamdulillah, knowing that we can never be grateful enough. We ponder over our sins and say Astaghfirullah, because we want His forgiveness.
I’m not here to give any answers, because I am on the same journey myself.
I was listening to Nouman Ali Khan’s Qur’an For Young Adults – and I’m loving it, btw – and he mentioned a statement by someone else that got him thinking, and really stuck in my head: “We worship Allah only when we’re praying. Otherwise we worship our phones.”
Let me backtrack a bit. Being a slave of Allah includes five things: worship, obedience, trust, love, and the terms of the relationship that come only from Allah and are non-negotiable. The middle three are factors that exist in other relationships too – we obey the laws of the country and our parents, etc; we trust our parents, friends, etc; and we love those around us. If any of these overstep the boundaries of being a slave of Allah however, it constitutes as shirk.
Let’s talk about love. We know that which you love most is what is on your mind most. Which means that if your mind is wandering while you’re in salah, you can be doing shirk to Allah even while you’re doing sujood to Him. Scary thought! The problem with us is that our mind is on everything else but Him in AND out of salah. Which explains the statement of the unknown man.
Say, [O Muhammad], “If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, wealth which you have obtained, commerce wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and jihad in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [9:24]
Here is an ayah I’ve done before. It applied to me then and it applies to me now, probably more so because of the love factor.
I got married over two months ago, but don’t live with my husband yet. That will happen only in the summer in shaa Allah. It’s only been two months but it seems like forever, and in not knowing when we will meet next has my head constantly filled with thoughts of him. This is new for me because I was never really one of those people who would get lost in a relationship, and there are moments when I wonder how I could have not known it was going to be so hard.
Here is the test (as per NAK): Think about that one thing – or person – that you love the most and absolutely think you cannot do without. For me, it’s people. I am terribly attached to people. Now in your imagination, take them away *poof* like they don’t exist in your life anymore. How do you deal with it? Do you go crazy, like you can’t survive? Or are you ok because you have Allah?
And just like that, in that moment, I understood. The reason for this distance between my husband and I, and the people that are closest to me but with oceans between us. I’ve known it before but never felt it like I did just now. Allah removes the things we love most from the equation sometimes to make space in our heart for Him. And ohhh, what a mercy that is! You see, people come and people go. Nothing lasts forever. I can’t stand the thought of losing my husband, but it is the love of Allah that helps us survive. And how can there be any doubt in that when He is The Ever Living, The One That Never Dies?
It is loving Allah سبحانه و تعالى that empowers us, that gives us hope in each day. It is Him Who should be on our mind constantly because He gives us miracles everyday – lets us experience the sunrise and sunset, take in a deep breath and lets our heart beat, our body function, our mind work. He takes care of processes that we have no idea about just to keep us moving. He gave us the things we find joy in, the reason we smile.
Loving friends and family, our house and job is natural, and we need to constantly remind ourselves of where they come from. We need to know Allah in order to fall in love with Him, wait to meet Him in excitement in salah, read His Words to us in the Qur’an. So far, we are not making as much effort in this relationship as we would for a human.
We need to step up our game. Allah proves His love for us every second. How are we going to prove our love for Him?