Whenever anyone mentions the word ‘relationship’, it brings with it connotations of love as well as personal. We hear much from the Christians about their relationship with God, in that it involves love, and is something quite personal. For a Muslim, however, not only does the relationship consist of love going both ways, but it is balanced out by a degree of fear, coupled with the hope of mercy, all based upon a faith which is in turn based upon knowledge. Quite different from the Christian faith, which in the end demands for a faith not based upon knowledge, but a blind faith based upon an illogical doctrine, called the trinity.
Although any person’s relationship with God is indeed personal, still for a Muslim, it becomes a thing of public awareness because of the very nature of the religion of Islam, that it involves our interactions with not only the rest of humanity, but the world as a whole, for we (humans) have been designated as Allah’s vicegerents on this earth, physical representatives of His, charged with the care and upkeep of this world during our tenure in this earthy life. God has give us, through the Quran and the example set forth for us by Prophet Mohammed, peace and blessings be upon him, directives on how to interact with all of this creation so as to attain His pleasure and blessings. Hence, the Muslim’s relationship with Allah becomes a matter of public knowledge and awareness, as well as a very personal tie between us personally and our Creator.
Having come from a Christian upbringing myself, and then later turning finally to Islam in my early adulthood, I have a firm grasp on each of the two religions and what is preached and expected by both. I experienced first hand the many variations or stages that Christianity went through in the 60’s and 70’s, ultimately culminating in the hugging culture which is still current in today’s world, that one must hug another to prove their love for them, regardless of the sex of the other person, or their religious preference, or their color or their nationality or even their relation or state of non-relation. This is, of course, something completely foreign to Islamic teachings, which direct us to keep from physical contact with people of the opposite sex unless there is some blood or marital tie that permits this type of physical connection.
If one were to go on this basis of the largely Christian practice of showing love by hugging, then one must eventually ask: “How do you hug God? If you have to prove your love by hugging one another, then how do you prove to God that you love Him?”
For a Muslim, the answer to this last question should be quite easy: simply follow the example set forth by prophet Mohammed, and you shall prove your love for Allah, thereby deserve the love that will come to you from Allah. We can see this answer already prepared for us in Allah’s word:
“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #31)
It is interesting also to note that the prophet was directed to convey this glad tiding not only to the Muslims, but also to mankind as a whole, as we see revealed from the above verse.
But, then, you may ask, how to follow the prophet, since he’s already long dead?
The answer to this lies in the sources of Islamic teachings, and that is in the Quran coupled with the collections of ahadith (recorded historic traditions) in which we will find the speech, actions and lifestyle of the prophet precisely recorded for us to learn and implement into our lives. The answer is knowledge. Accumulate the knowledge necessary to learn how to prove your love for Allah, and you will find that you will reap Allah’s love also in return.
Remember that Islam is much more than a religion, it is indeed a way of life, and for those who apply it to their daily life, nothing less than the grand reward of peace in heaven is awaiting for them.
“But whoever comes to Him (Allah) as a believer (in the Oneness of Allah), and has done righteous good deeds, for such are the high ranks (in the Hereafter)” (Taha, Chapter #20, Verse #75)
The Quran, which is the book of guidance of Islam, is surly not a science book or a medical book, but it does contain within it statements of scientific and medical proof that surely this message, which was brought forth over 1400 years ago and delivered to the remainder of mankind by an illiterate and uneducated man himself, could be none other than pure divine inspiration from On High.
“It is He Who made the sun a shining thing and the moon as a light and measured out for it stages that you might know the number of years and the reckoning. Allah did not create this but in truth. He explains the Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) in detail for people who have knowledge.” (Yunus, Chapter #10, Verse #5)
In order to affirm our relationship with Allah, it is a great help to recognize His characteristics, of which we are notified of many throughout the Quran and ahadith, some of which are: The Most Beneficial, the Most Merciful, The All-Hearing, The All-Knowing, The Perfect, The Powerful, The One Who Owns the Dominion of All, and much more. When we consider the true and vast meaning of these and many of the other beautiful names and attributes of Allah, we are able to affirm our relationship with Him, and to humbly worship Him as He deserves and commands.
We have been advised to follow the Prophet in hopes that Allah will in turn love us for our adherence to His teachings. When asked about the Prophet’s character, his wife Aisha reported that his character was in fact that of the Quran. In other words, there was nothing about his speech, actions and general lifestyle, which did not emulate the teachings found within the Quran itself.
The Prophet then goes on to tell us (when he told his companions as recorded in the ahadith collections), that no one will achieve true belief until he loves the prophet more than he loves his loved ones and all things in life, even more than he loves himself. Now, what better love can be shown other than imitation?
Imitation of products in any market place is a growing problem worldwide. People do not imitate a product or service unless or until they realize the high value of that original product or service. They only imitate it for the benefits they may reap by marketing the imitation falsely as if it were the original. Their main selling boost is the high reputation of the original product or service.
When we imitate the prophet in his speech, practices, format of worship, etc., we are only accentuating our inner love for him. Indeed, it is in this way of showing our love for him that we shall attain Allah’s love and any hope for His mercy.
I’m not perfect, in fact, far from it. However I do try my best to find some tender combination of love, fear, and hope by which I format my relationship with Allah, in order that I, too, may have some hope of attaining His love and deserving of His mercy. I base the formation of that relationship upon these inner feelings and how I disseminate them concerning the Creator, and from knowledge, which I seek from the source of Islam, trying to implement that knowledge into my daily life.