Bismillah Hir Rahman Ir Raheem – In the name of Allah, the most Gracious, the most Merciful
Peace and blessings be upon you all
What does Allah Subhana Ta’alah (or God Almighty) mean to you? A benevolent merciful ruler? An angry ruthless tyrant? Somewhere in between? Neither of these figures? Whatever you believe that Allah is determines your relationship with Him.
If you believe that Allah is someone to be feared of, you will live your life in fear of Him, not wanting to stimulate His anger, worrying about every step you take so that you are not in danger of being thrown into the Hell-Fire. Through this thinking, you are a slave to Allah Whom you cannot disobey under any circumstances.
If you believe Allah is merciful, benevolent and loving, you live your life with comfort and ease knowing that Allah is always with you, hearing your every prayer, forgiving your darkest sins and always making the road easy for you. If you simply have faith in Allah, you’re living in Heaven on earth.
However, as Muslims, it is important that we view and believe in Allah according to both these traits; someone to fear and someone to love.
If we focus on fear only, we will never lead a life of comfort and sustenance. We’d remain in a constant state of anxiety, stress, depression, hopelessness, guilt and despair which tends to do terrible things to one’s soul. On the other hand, if we focus on only love, we feel we can get away with anything because Allah is All-Merciful. We forget the responsibilities of a slave that we have as a reward for living life and whenever life throws a curve ball at us, we break down in despair as the perfect image of life falls apart. Nowadays, social media posts focus on Allah’s trait of love and mercy much more often than that of fear. Life is tough and we always need a good dose of wisdom and motivation but simply praying without making an effort to make things better is not healthy.
So who lies in the boundary between fear and love? What should Allah mean to us? For me, one way of viewing Allah is simple, as mentioned in a Hadis:
“Allah is more merciful to his servants (more than 70 times) than a mother is to her child.” Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 5653, Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim 2754
Hence, Allah Almighty can (very very very partially. We must not consider Allah a person) be considered as a parent.
What are parents to us? They feed us, nurture us, teach us how to live life doing what is good and forbidding what is wrong. They reward us with their vibrant expressions and treats when we do something great and punish us by grounding us or taking away our precious devices in the opposite case, either way always doing what they feel is best for you. They are your friends in this life but sometimes they leave you to go on a certain path alone for your own sake. Isn’t that similar to what Allah does for us? Allah feeds, teaches and protects is as well. He gives us rewards as well as trials in this life, everything that He knows is best for you. You feel He is with you but sometimes you feel He has left you to face a situation alone for your own sake. Do you see the similarities? The main differences could just be that Allah possesses more Wisdom in everything He does and has more Power. After all, He is Al ‘Aleem العليم, the All-Knowing, and Al Qawiyy القوي, The Strong.
While addressing these points, there’s one importance principle that parents and Allah both follow and maintain or try to maintain: Balance. Parents maintain a balanced environment where their children love their parents but also fear them out of respect to not anger them, and where children are given certain freedom to live as they wish but are stopped when they head too far so that they do not become something extreme. Also, they try to maintain balance between work to earn for their families and spending time with their family. On the other hand, Allah maintains balance in the whole Universe, which He has explained beautifully in His Holy Quran:
“Surely Hell lies in ambush”.
“For the transgressors a destination”.
“To abide therein for ages”.
“Nothing cool shall they taste therein, nor any drink”.
“Except a boiling fluid and pus”.
“A fitting recompense (for their evil)”. (Surah Nabaa, Verses 21-25)
Right after He talks about Hell, He describes Heaven:
“Surely for the Righteous there is a victory,”
“Gardens enclosed and vineyards”
“And comely maidens, with the freshness of youth, equals in age”.
“And a cup overflowing”.
“No Vanity shall they hear therein, nor Untruth,” (Surah Nabaa, Verses 31-35)
Allah Subhana Ta’alah also balances out life with death, and death with life:
“And present to them the example of the life of this world, [its being] like rain which We send down from the sky, and the vegetation of the earth mingles with it and [then] it becomes dry remnants, scattered by the winds. And Allah is ever, over all things, Perfect in Ability.” (Surah Kahf, Verse 45)
Hence throughout the Holy Quran and throughout the whole Universe, everything is being maintain by Allah’s beautiful pattern of balance. The good in this world is complemented with the bad. Night is complemented by day. Death is complemented with life. Life is complemented with death. God is complemented by His Creation. Joy is complemented by sorrow. Rich is complemented by poor. Trials are complemented by blessings. By this design, no one person is made to live in any single extreme only. When the time of one side of a flipping coin ends, the time for the other begins. Man is taught to learn the significance of both sides of the coin. When he does, he can be considered a believer because he sees Allah through His intricate design.
Parents aim to build this balance in their homes so that their children can understand how life is and how to face every challenge and reward in it, and so that one person’s extreme behavior can be balanced out to normal so that the family is protected from internal harm.
That is my perspective of what Allah means to me; an amplified version of parents. What is your perspective? Let me know in the comments.