Wednesday, September 27, 2006

To benefit from changes in life...

To benefit from changes in life, spiritual travelers must be with Allah, not their own story line. When a young woman marries, for example, she suddenly finds herself not only with another ego in the house to live with, but within a short space, that the comparative ease and calm of her younger days have been swept away by the sheer work needed to keep up and think of everything in a real home. When she has her first baby, she must manage for another life even more dependent on her personal sacrifices. By the second, third, or fourth child, her days and nights belong almost entirely to others. Whether she has a spiritual path or not, such a mother can seldom resist a glance at the past, when there were more prayers, more meanings, more spiritual company, and more serenity. When Allah opens her understanding, she will see that she is engaged in one of the highest forms of worship, that of producing new believers who love and worship Allah. She is effectively worshipping Allah for as many lifetimes she has children, for the reward of every spiritual work her children do will be hers, without this diminishing anything of their own rewards: every ablution, every prayer, every Ramadan, every hajj, and even the works her children will in turn pass on to their offspring, and, so on till the end of time. Even if her children do not turn out as she wishes, she shall be requited in paradise forever according to her intention in raising them, which was that they should be godly. Aside from the tremendous reward, within the path itself it is noticeable that many of those who benefit most from the khalwa or “solitary retreat of dhikr” are women who have raised children. With only a little daily dhikr and worship over the years, but much toil and sacrifice for others, they surpass many a younger person who has had more free time, effort, and “spiritual works.” What they find is greater because their state with Allah is greater; namely, the awe, hope, and love of the Divine they have realized by years of sincerity to Him.

To summarize, the traveller who is grateful to Allah for everything cannot be veiled from Allah by anything, whether living in the world or doing without it, and it is such a person who most benefits from the spiritual path. Abu Yazid al-Bustami was once asked, “Can the servant reach Him in a single moment?” and he replied, “He can, though he is returned with profit and benefit in the measure of his journey.”

To read the entire commentary on Hikam No. 3 by Shaykh Nuh Keller, click here


  1. Alhamdulillah! And excellent post. Indeed the role of mothers, in fact all the women in our lives is greatly misunderstood. Here is an old post on the subject:

  2. Assalaam Alaykum,

    Masha'Allah, thank you for posting this. After I married and had children I used to always look back wistfully at my carefree single days when I first became Muslim.

    I would tell myself that one day I would try to get back to that level of worship and frame of mind. As I've experienced life through the years, I found out that Allah was bringing me nearer to Him, not through acts of worships, but through tests and life experiences.

    Anyways, not to ramble on, but elhamdullilah, what a blessing it is to have children and to try to nurture in them a love for Allah and guide them to become true believers.