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January 16, 2018

She’s not Just your Child – She’s a Soul

January 16, 2018
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Between getting my child to eat semi-healthy food, trying to ensure she doesn’t colour everything in the house with permanent markers, and putting her to bed at a reasonable time every night, I often feel like I’m at my rope’s end. My patience wears thin. Very, very thin.

I was recently sitting with a group of friends and our children were playing together next to us. I looked at the other kids and I thought – any one of these children could have been mine. If I had married someone else, my daughter, as she is now wouldn’t exist. If her conception was delayed by one month, my child wouldn’t be the same person. If any number of factors had been changed, even slightly, Ruqaya wouldn’t be here. It would someone else entirely. Or no one.

And then it dawned on me that all of these “factors” that could have changed in the blink of an eye, wouldn’t have. Before she existed, my daughter was a soul waiting her turn to enter into this existence. She was a specific soul, meant for a specific body and set of parents and time period. She didn’t just come into being when she was conceived or when her soul was blown into my womb.

She outdates all of that.

Before any of us inhabited this earth, Allah (swt) created our souls and gathered us together. We bore witness to His Oneness.

And now we enter and exit this life in turns, in waves, in generations one after the other. Only Allah (swt) knows when each soul He ever created will come and leave, and to whom they’ll be born, and under what circumstances.

When I think about my daughter as a soul that was entrusted to my care, I look at her differently. God gave her to me – specifically this soul that has been waiting for who knows how long to enter into life. She didn’t end up in the arms of a couple in a different country or in a different time period. She waited in queue according to Allah’s command, and then she came. When He says, “Be” then it is.

I remind myself that she isn’t just a ball of mischief or a set of sticky hands. She isn’t just a body that grows or a bundle of skills that develops with age and knowledge. That’s the surface of her. Inside she’s actually a soul that has been waiting for so long to join me.

And when I see her as she truly is – a soul in need of nurturing, a soul that Allah (swt) meant for me, and me alone – I am able to have that extra moment of patience with her. I am able to appreciate the fact that she’s a gift and a test and an entire person on her own.

She has a purpose to fulfill on this earth, just as I do. We were brought together by Allah’s will, and I know He creates everything with a purpose.

In a way, our children are our soulmates – souls that are bound together in this life, and we hope in the next life too.

Indeed, Allah [alone] has knowledge of the Hour and sends down the rain and knows what is in the wombs. And no soul perceives what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul perceives in what land it will die. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted (31:34).

9 comments

  1. SubhanAllah, what a reflection! May Allah help us all in being patient with our kids. May Allah bless you both in your journey to Him. Ameen

  2. Reading this brought tears to my ears. Sometimes it’s so very difficult to have patience with them, even though we know they are little. This puts things in a different perspective. Alhamdulillah for your words.

    1. Yes, it is very very difficult sometimes. And we may often lose our patience with them. But the important thing is to continuously centre ourselves and remind ourselves that they are both a blessing and a test, and Allah (swt) willed them into our lives for a reason. May He bless yours and all of ours <3

  3. Just yesterday, in a fit of range, my younger one who is 7, got beaten really bad. She did something naughty but now when I think about it, my behavior was not warranted… Reading this bought tears to my eyes… at times, my girls drive me up the wall, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love them. At times I feel why did they have me as their mother, but at times when I see them, I feel that only I was meant to be their mother, nobody else…JazakAllah Khair for this, I have to change my outlook towards them in this way if I need to behave better with them…

    1. Salam Alaykum Rafeeda,
      I read your comment and felt I had to reply both for your sake and your daughters. Children can push us beyond our limits sometimes and we may react in ways that are not always in the best interest of anyone involved. The fact you can reflect on the incident and accept that your reaction was not warranted shows your sincerity and dedication in being the best mother you can be. I’d suggest however you reading more about a style of parenting called “Respectful Parenting” by Janet Lansbury. She teaches parents how to effectively communicate and discipline children without the need for physical punishment.
      I wish you the best in this life and the next! Take care.xx

  4. Assalamualaikum Asmaa, I love this reflection! It reminds me of Khalil Gibran’s poem “Your Children”:

    “Your children are not your children.
    They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
    They come through you but not from you.
    And though they are with you, they belong not to you.
    You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
    For they have their own thoughts.
    You may house their bodies but not their souls,
    For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
    Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
    You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
    For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
    You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
    The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite.
    And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
    Let your bending in the archer’s hands be for happiness;
    For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
    So He loves the bow that is stable.”

    Khalil Gibran

    https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/your-children-4/

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