God is My Ally

Green leaves and sunlight

By Wael Abdelgawad | IslamicSunrays.com

Being a single parent is rewarding and exhausting at the same time. On the good days I think, “I’ve got this.” My daughter plays, laughs, and tell she loves me. She completes her homework cheerfully and eats what I serve. On days like that I say, “Alhamdulillah!” (All praise is due to God).

Other days I feel inadequate. I feel that I’m not doing enough to teach my daughter Arabic and Islam. I let her consume too much junk food and TV. I haven’t tried hard enough to help her cultivate friendships with kids her age.

On the worst days Salma is depressed and focused on what she doesn’t have. Or she’s down on herself, crying and saying, “I’m no good…” It’s as if she’s determined to see life in the saddest possible light. I don’t know where she’s getting these negative self-images. Certainly not from me. From her schoolmates perhaps? I wish I could shut out the outside world and raise my family in some pristine environment, like an idyllic island, or a small village where the adhaan rings out at dawn every morning.

Sometimes I feel desperate for an ally. Someone to talk to, someone to help, someone who cares. I look around and there is no one. Just me and my child. Other people seem to pass like travelers, not wanting to get involved, not staying, or not caring. (I’m sure every single parent experiences these feelings of isolation sometimes).

Then I remember that Allah (God) is all of those things: Ally, Helper, and Provider. He is the One Who Stays; The First and The Last. And I wonder if that very feeling of desperation that I experience is designed to bring me closer to Allah, and to make me reliant on Him. As we say, Hasbun Allahu wa n’em al-Wakeel. Allah is sufficient for us and the best One in Whom to trust.

So again I say, “Alhamdulillah!” I am grateful to Allah for guidance, for the roof over my head and the food on my table, and even for the difficulties with my daughter, because I have a daughter to have difficulties with, and that’s the greatest blessing.

Thus we say, Alhamdulillahi ‘ala kulli haal. Praise be to God in every condition. And we trust that Allah will bring us through, because having Him as an Ally is not an abstract concept.

Sarah Saghir has written:

“The ego says, ‘Once everything falls into place, I will find As-Salam (Allah: The Peace).’
And the spirit says, ‘Find As-Salam (The Peace) and everything will fall into place.'”

So this is what it is to have God as an Ally. It doesn’t mean that we give up on our worldly needs and satisfy ourselves with an ascetic, purely spiritual existence. Rather, when we find Him, when we trust Him and take Him as an Ally, those worldly needs fall into place, and we are able to meet the challenges of life by His grace.

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Article by Wael

Wael Abdelgawad is an Egyptian-American living in Fresno, California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including Zawaj.com and IslamicAnswers.com, and also of various technology and travel websites. He is a writer and poet, and has been a web developer since 1997. This project, IslamicSunrays.com, is very dear to his heart, as it has allowed him to express ideas that have growing inside him for many years. Wael is divorced and has one lovely young daughter. He practices and teaches martial arts (somewhat obsessively), and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and vanilla fudge ice cream. Wael is an advocate for human rights and blogs about these issues at AbolishTorture.com. He is also a volunteer with the MyDeen Muslim youth organization in Fresno. Wael tagged this post with: , , , , , Read 266 articles by
4 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Amy says:

    I felt obligated to comment because I can relate to what you said on many levels. I just wanted to say that in my experience, the negativity a child may have is not always attributable to an outside source. Of course it’s natural as parents to start looking there and try to find solutions, but the reality that every child, like every adult, has an inner world that is entirely its own- and that world can surely influence thoughts and emotional states.

    I think for me sometimes I have to remind myself that parenting is not strictly about putting out fires or solving problems. Sometimes there are problems that cannot be solved, that are just bigger than us, or just too complicated for what we know to do. Parenting at those times takes the form of support…and not so that our kids will perk up in 5 minutes and then be fine; no, sometimes those moods have to work out on their own. But when we are consistently supportive, caring, and understanding to the best of our abilities- in shaa Allah that sinks in somewhere and they know that we really do care for them no matter what.

    Human beings are complicated, even the children kind. I remember when I used to think that figuring out my own life and self would make me a good parent because then I would understand everything my kids go through. Wrong. Every day I get lovely reminders that my kids are their own individuals- they aren’t me, they don’t think like me, feel like me, process the world like me, experience life like me….and more frustratingly- never will. I have to know them for who they are, whether I can relate or understand it or not. Then I have to try to be what they need, if I can, and with Allah’s help.

    Those lessons we learn, to rely strictly on Allah, to trust Him no matter what, to see things apart from what our natural tendency inclines us toward when things aren’t ideal- those are all lessons our children must learn too. They are lessons that are part of their own connection to their Lord, and often they must suffer some type of discomfort or challenge to get them, just as we do. These are all things we have to learn to sit well with, to let go of, and trust Allah that He can manage our kids lives to bring them closer to Himself as well. You are doing a lovely job as a father, I’m sure of it. You can’t screw this up, because Allah will always be in control. You are doing exactly what He knew you would do, and He is doing exactly what you both need to attain Jannah in shaa Allah.

  2. Mahmood from Iran says:

    Subhanallah

    This post gave me goosebumps.

    It is so beautiful how you made me realize Allah’s Might, Power and Majesty.

    May Allah bless you, your daughter and your entire family.

    As the poet said, “Our Children are not from us, but they come through us”

    Your daughter is a soul on her own individual journey through life. She will need to experience life her own way to learn the lessons she needs to grow as a person.

    You are a hardworking father…I can tell that for sure.

    You are doing good mashallah

    Keep doing what you do brother

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