Allah (swt) is more merciful to His believing slaves than a mother is to her child. I love my daughter, almost to a fault. The crinkle of her eyes when she laughs, the way her lips curve downwards when she is asleep. The new words she learns daily and the mischief she always seems to get into. She reminds me of her Baba, may Allah have mercy on him. But I sometimes make decisions that cause her distress. I take things away from her that I know will cause her harm. Not everything is a toy, not everyone is a friend. It hurts me to see her tears, but she doesn’t understand that my knowledge is greater than hers, and I only wish to protect her. I only wish to raise her to be a better person than me.
Allah (swt) takes from us, too. He takes the people we love the most. He allows our wealth to be usurped, our safety to be shaken, our homes to be demolished. And yet He is still more Merciful to His slaves than I am to my child. His Knowledge is greater than ours, His Planning is more perfect than ours could ever be. For what is the value of a home or wealth or safety when they cause us to forget Him? What is the purpose of having those we love close to us when it makes us complacent? If He wishes good upon a people, then perhaps a painful disease that will actually bring about greater healing is better than lasting health.
When we see our world falling to pieces, our thought-out plans becoming nothing more than scattered dust, it is easy to succumb to that distressing question: “Why is God doing this to us?” Don’t succumb. We would be wise to remember Allah is more Merciful to us than a mother to her child, in every circumstance, in every moment.
Even those moments when the pain is so sharp that it feels as though your heart will be split into two. Especially in those moments. He is ridding you of some sins you have forgotten about, giving you the opportunity to reach your hands up to the sky to seek His Forgiveness. He is paving the road for you to walk the same path of great struggle that our righteous forefathers once walked. He is strengthening you for your task.
A mother’s love is the most powerful worldly love – it causes her to sacrifice her very soul that her child can live another day. It makes her go hungry that her child may eat. It makes her leave all her own hopes and dreams behind that she may water the seeds of hopes and dreams in her child. And still, He is more Merciful than her.
Asmaa Hussein was born and raised in Toronto, CA and received her Masters of Social work from University of Toronto. She is a perpetual student, a mother of a young girl, and a recent widow.