I have known all along that my relationship with Allah was not as strong as it could be. We know that according to the hadith of the prophet Muhammad (S) the highest level of faith is to live life as though you can see Allah, and if you can’t see Him, then to know that He sees you. So is He an actor in my life, or just an observer, or occasionally not in my consciousness at all? I thought I understood what I had to do to better cultivate our relationship: be sincere in my prayer, try to shed tears in seeking His forgiveness, do a good deed and keep it between the two of us, turn to Him for every need, big and small, etc.
However, now that I know what it’s like to be a parent, I know that I am far from fulfilling the entire potential that our relationship can hold. The prophet (S) has likened the mercy that Allah has towards us to the mercy a mother has toward her child, except multi-fold more bountiful. Yet, have I really understood what that means? How His mercy permeates every aspect of my existence? I couldn’t even begin to comprehend that analogy without becoming a mother first; I thank Allah for that blessing.
So, to help develop a deeper connection with Allah and to truly appreciate Him, subhanahu wa ta’ala, I am trying to draw analogies to my strong connection with my daughter. I try to draw from my love for her, love for Him and then some. When I feel the yearning to be near to her, I work to cultivate that same yearning to be near to Him. I caught myself thinking the other day, I hope my children will look back at my life and be proud of me. But, what about Allah? In practice, I have yet to passionately want Him to be pleased with me and proud of me in a similar way as with my parents and daughter.
My goals may be attainable if I work on them alone, but I figure why do that when I have an entire household to support me? In order to proactively strengthen our relationship as a family with Allah, I have been trying to infuse an awareness of Him in our daily activities. When my daughter and I struggle to climb the stairs while carrying our groceries, we call out to Him using His beautiful names; ya Allah, ya Kareem, ya Gafour, ya Shakour! When we find ourselves stuck in traffic we ask Oh Allah, ya Fattah, open the road for us! And when we find a favorite toy has been misplaced, we supplicate to Him, Oh Lord of all things, and Guider. Return to us our missing train. In this way we are striving to place Allah center stage in our lives, and learning to put our trust in Him and have tawakkul in the process.
Dalal is currently a chemistry graduate student who, above all, loves being mom to a lovely 2 year old.