An Eternal Transaction of Love
We have been created with a natural desire to love, and to be loved. This is one of the reasons why many people spend the early part of their lives searching for a marriage partner, and the latter part in maintaining this love. I know how it feels, as marriage was one of my life goals. But, for a while I became so distracted with this goal, I forgot its purpose. The greatest lesson I learnt was; when Allah became my focus, everything fell perfectly in place. When I focused on His love, everything began to make sense. When I realized I only needed Allah in my life to feel whole, I found true love. I made an eternal transaction, and He blessed me with the perfect person to love, in this world, with a desire that it will transcend into Paradise inshaAllah. It taught me marriage is a means to Allah, but it is not the only means. Rather, for some it may even become a curse, because they fail to fulfill their rights.
Many people become so engrossed in this temporary love they forget who really matters. They forget everything in this world is a means to Allah, the final goal. The ultimate destination. Our test is to recognize the means and the goal. It begins with the first transaction; recognizing who really matters.
The First Transaction: Recognize Who Really Matters.
It is easy to acknowledge that Allah should take priority, but the challenge is to make Him a priority. It is easy to acknowledge the titles of this world are temporary, but it is difficult to look at those who are not as blessed as you, in wealth, health, intellect, and beauty as your true equal.
Allahwants us to reflect through His magnificent creations. He wants us to appreciate that He is the most spectacular Architect. His structures are the greatest masterpieces. We need to recognize that the Maker of these structures matters most.
“Indeed, in the creation of the heavens and earth, and the alternation of the night and the day, and the [great] ships which sail through the sea with that which benefits people, and what Allah has sent down from the heavens of rain, giving life thereby to the earth after its lifelessness and dispersing therein every [kind of] moving creature, and [His] directing of the winds and the clouds controlled between the heaven and the earth are signs for a people who use reason.” (Al Baqarah, 2:164)
The theme of this verse is to reflect over the might of Allah, by using our intellect (`aql). There are many people who are too distracted to contemplate the treasures of Allah. We have become engrossed in our phones, our careers, families and even our sadness. We need to come to a halt and reflect. It will pull us out of the dark wells we have voluntarily entered and bring us to safety, as it brought young Prophet Yusuf to a new home.
I have had the opportunity to travel to various man-made landmarks in the world. But nothing beats the magnificence of the Niagara Falls. Nothing surpasses the serenity of oceans and Islands of Malaysia. Whether it is the grandiose of the Eiffel Tower, the towering Pyramids of Giza, the proud Great Wall of China, or the splendid Petronas Towers, they are insignificant when compared to the perfect, the splendid and impressive creations of Allah.
The true Kings and Queens of this World
In this life, a person of status has a title. They’re called a Doctor, Shaykh, President, CEO, an Ustadha, but Allah reminds us that these titles will have no value the Day of Judgement if they were not dedicated to the cause of Allah. The only titles we will care about are the ones given by Allah. After all, we have leaders who are wealthy, influential but have horrific human rights records. I ask you, how will their wealth benefit them? It doesn’t matter if they live in fancy houses or wear designer clothes. Their wealth, influence and power will not benefit them in front of Allah. Asiya had everything when she was the Queen of Egypt, but spiritually, she felt devoid and empty, until she fell in love with Allah.
Once we recognize who really matters, we have the opportunity to become the true Kings and Queens of this World. We will have conquered this world. We will have attained another one : an eternal Kingdom with Allah. Imagine getting on the plane and you are upgraded to first class. Imagine your neighbor leaves you a million in inheritance. How would you feel? These are worldly treasures, but they leave us with wonderful thoughts. What if you attained it all, and it lasted forever?
The Second Transaction: Focus on the Love of Allah
The question is, what type of people does Allah love? Many people. His mercy is incredibly vast, and one of the groups is the Muttaqeen, the people of taqwa. They will be the celebrities of Paradise.
In a beautiful hadith, the Prophet said:
“When Allah loves a slave, He calls Jibril (Gabriel) and says: ‘I love so-and-so; so love him.’ And then Jibril loves him. Then he (Jibril) announces in the heavens saying: Allah loves so-and-so; so love him; then the inhabitants of the heavens (the angels) also love him; and then people on earth love him. And when Allah hates a slave, He calls Jibril and says: ‘I hate so- and-so, so hate him.’ Then Jibril also hates him. He (Jibril) then announces amongst the inhabitants of heavens: ‘Verily, Allah hates so- and-so, so you also hate him.’ Thus they also start to hate him. Then he becomes the object of hatred on the earth also.” 1
We live in times when celebrities are treated like Gods. We see people trending on Facebook for absolutely no reason. There is no substance in the story, but some people are more concerned with the lives of others, than the state of their hearts. They are loved in the world, and this is shown by their fans and their obsessive need to follow their lives. But the love of Allahis greater. It is more valuable than selling out a concert or having over fifty million followers on Facebook. When you have a high status with Allah, you are the most loved person on all dimensions, in all worlds. Your love transcends galaxies.
We as Muslims, respect people, but we recognize what truly matters.
We need to ask ourselves, on the Day of Judgement, will they even matter? Will anyone even care what a celebrity wore or whom she was dating? Will we care for the likes we have on Facebook or the followers on Instagram? Will anyone be concerned about their wealth when it will lose all its value? It is all a fake illusion that is destroying our lives when we fail to prioritize. They distract from what really matters: Allah. The previous prophetic statement reminds us that when we focus on the love of Allah, then all love will be ours, but when we focus on pleasing everyone around us, we lose sight of who really matters.
Because real love lies with Allah, not with false deities. We must choose the people we hang out with, online and in person. We must spend our time wisely, as our distractions will begin to define us. Once we recognize who matters most, we must ask ourselves, have we packed everything?
The Third Transaction: Have You Packed Everything?
I love travelling and I spend a lot of time ensuring I have packed everything, but if you asked me what was the most important item I cannot travel without, it has to be my passport. It is my ticket to travel. Similarly, Allahreminds us the best provision for a traveler in this world is the fear of Allah. He balances love and fear perfectly. When a person enters University, they are given a book list and a timetable for all their classes. If they fail to invest into their books or attend their classes, they will fail. Similarly, Allahhas given us all the guidance we need to pass this test. Allahsays:
“And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.” (Al-Bakarah, 2:197)
The fear of Allah will save us from harming others. It will protect us from actions which are illegal in the sight of Allah. It will hinder us from diverting from the straight path. Our passport is taqwa, but only few can afford to purchase it because it involves a huge transaction. It involves a transaction of fear, discipline and sacrifice, as Allah says:
“He is with you wherever you are. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.” (Al Hadid, 57:4)
Always remember, He is watching you. His lens are more powerful than the most advanced camera in the world. His Hearing is sharper than most expensive microphone. But you may ask, what can I do to be aware? What actions can I perform in order to change? It always better to start small through daily transactions.
Your Daily Transactions
- Increase your connection with the Qur’an. Make an effort to connect with the Qur’an by understanding the messages Allah has immortalized for you. The most effective way to do this is to study the tafseer (explanation) of the Qur’an Personally, I have benefited greatly from the lectures of Ustadah Taiymiyyah Zubair and Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan who have changed my perspective on the beauty of the Qur’an. Allah reminds us, it is a manual which must be reflected over when He said: “[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” (As-Sa’ad, 38:29)
- Increase your concentration in Salah. Your prayer is your personal phone call with Allah. It is a reflection of your emaan, so as you improve your salah, your daily transaction with Allah will seep through the rest of your life. Allah redefines success for us when He said: “Successful indeed are the believers. Those who offer their Salah (prayers) with all solemnity and full submissiveness.” (Al-Mu’minoon, 23: 1-2) And Ibn Abbas radiyallahu anhu said: “You will gain nothing from your prayer except what you focus on.” 2
- Increase your daily adhkar. In life you will be faced with violent waves and your daily du’as will be your personal surfboard which will keep you afloat. Allah says: “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance. And glorify His Praises morning and evening.” (Al-Ahzab, 33: 41-42)
The Final Message
In the previous article, we discussed the importance of understanding your own potential. You have the ability to become the greatest believer in the sight of Allah. The potential to excel is present within you. We are all born on the fitrah, a natural inclination towards Allah, but as we grow up, we are pulled in every direction. But, you have been given tools to reconnect and I pray they benefit you as much as they have benefited my life.
As we part again dear friend, let us make a firm intention to train our minds and hearts to be conscious of God. Let us hold on to the rope of Allah as we climb a steepest mountain.
We will meet again in the final article of this series as we discuss practical steps in how to transform you into a person who is the most beloved to Allah.If you have benefited from this article, please share your comments!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sister Alima Ashfaq is the founder and director of “I am Alima”, and “Women Of Ilm”. Her aim in life is to assist Muslim women in coming closer to Allah through Islamic knowledge. She has studied under various scholars and students of knowledge in order to gain an extra insight into her religion and to better herself in her role as an “I am Alima” instructor. Sr. Alima has been a part of various organisations and has also held a number of leadership positions. Besides this, she has also lectured in all the main Universities in the UK, including the University of Birmingham and the Sheffield University. She also has a flair for writing and has authored Du’as of Superstars, Love Unveiled and Falling in Love. Furthermore, she has compiled and edited the Threads of Hope in conjunction with Sh. Muhammad Alshareef and I am Alima.