Life is so unpredictable. Sometimes it seems the only thing I can expect from this dunya is unpredictability. This life gives joy one day and grief the next. It gives love one day and heartbreak the next. Nothing about this world is the same two days in a row—except one thing… Its Creator.
I recently had a painful experience related to someone I know. It was shocking and it left me feeling broken and betrayed. I’m sure everyone reading this has had a similar experience at some point in their lives.
All of this made me think about what I am expecting from my relationships. I think a part of me knows that I am expecting too much. Although there are some people in my life who are kind and sincere, they are still only human. They will never be perfect. There will be times when they hurt me and I hurt them, even if it’s unintentional.
The painful feeling is amplified even more when I think about what I put into these relationships. I am the type of person who is openly expressive. I wear my heart on my sleeve. If I care about someone, I’ll do anything for them. But experiences like the one I recently had remind me that Allah is the only one who will always reciprocate. He (SWT) tells us that if we go to Him walking, He will come to us running. In my human relationships, I feel like I am often the one running after others while they walk away from me.
Bonding with the Divine
To be honest, this is a big part of what keeps me practicing Islam to the best of my ability. It’s not always easy getting out of bed for fajr or going out with my hijab on. My faith and belief in the Afterlife keeps me doing these things, but there is also a significant part of me that just wants to do it all for my Creator.
Read: Filling the Void in Me
If I can put so much effort into imperfect relationships with my family and friends, why not do the same for the One who is always there for me?
He is Al-Wadud, the Loving One. He is Al-Mujeeb, the One Who Responds. Why should I not do my best to be what He wants me to be?
Of course, this is all just one perspective. This world is full of people who are mad at God for allowing them to go through pain. I see Allah as the reason why I’m not going through worse situations. I know that He is the one who is watching out for me and protecting me. And most importantly, He is there for me to turn to when people in this world let me down.
Call out to Him
When I feel the sting of betrayal and the pain of heartbreak, I know that all I have to do is call out to Him and He will be listening. I can put my hands up in the air and cry my heart out, knowing He will take these emotional burdens off of me.
I never have to worry that Allah won’t understand me or doesn’t care about what I’m feeling. And that’s the case with every human that He has created. Allah says He is closer to us than our jugular vein. You know the vein in your neck that you can touch and feel your heartbeat? He is closer than that.
I also find myself thinking sometimes that maybe one benefit of going through painful experiences is that I will remember to turn to Allah. Sometimes I get so consumed by what’s going on in my life that I start to become distant from Allah. I become too caught up in my work and too invested in relationships that won’t fulfill me.
And then it’s like Allah gives me a reminder that all of this is a house of cards, ready to collapse at any moment. I’m sure we’ve all had this realization at some point in life. The sudden awareness that nothing in this world is guaranteed. That Allah is the constant, the only one who will always be there.
When you lose that job you worked so hard for, Allah is there to help you back onto your feet. When things don’t go as planned, Allah makes better plans for you. And when that special someone in your life becomes the source of your pain, Allah is there to heal your heart. He is the only handhold that never breaks. And it was there all along.
And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided. (Qur’an 2:186)