What if Allah decides to answer our call in the same manner we respond to His call, or Allah decides to hear our words only as much as we listen to His Word?
“Khadijah*, your phone is ringing,” shouted Fateemah*. Khadijah raced from the kitchen into the dining room. On her way out of the dining room into the living room, she hit her knee against one of the dining chairs. She felt a throbbing pain around her knee cap, but she did not wait to rub or check it because she did not want to miss her call. Running through the living room, she burst onto the veranda breathing heavily, and as she retrieved her phone from Fateemah, she found out that she had missed the call.
She sat with us on the veranda nursing her knee while waiting for the caller to call back, since she had beeped whoever it was. I then looked at her and said, “Why not Allah?”
She gave me a puzzled look and repeated the question. I knew she was waiting for an explanation, so I explained:
Many times, I see people rushing to get their phone when it is ringing, sometimes getting injured in the process. If some people forget their phones somewhere, they race to get it as if it is an integral part of them. I remember that I once read an interview in a magazine, and the interviewee was asked, “What can’t you be caught dead without?” She replied that it’s her phone. I then asked myself, “Why not Allah?”
Ordinary human beings, like us, call us and we race to answer them, whilst Allah (SWT) has been calling us and we pay no heed. The call for prayer is made, calling us to success in this world and the hereafter, and some of us continue with our chores as if it was just an announcement that was made. When fellow human beings call upon us, especially if these people are superior to us, we run to heed their call with an alarming alacrity, even though some of them do not even have anything to benefit us; yet, we are negligent of the call of Allah (SWT). Why not Allah?
I then ask myself: What if Allah (SWT) decides to answer our call in the same manner we respond to His call or Allah (SWT) decides to hear our words only as much as we listen to His Word? Our lives would be in complete disarray and things would fall apart as a result of our heedlessness.
The evergreen message of the Qur’an is there, calling us to goodness all the time. The adhan resounds, calling us to true salvation, but we pay no attention to it.
In some major parts of Africa, before advancements in telecommunication tools, whenever the king had a message to pass, he would send the town crier to announce to the townspeople. Whenever the sound of the town crier’s gong was heard, everybody would gather, young and aged, men, women and children, ready to hear the message of the king. The same was the attitude of the pious predecessors. Whenever a new revelation was received, they were very eager to hear it, learn it, memorise it, implement it and teach others. But the same cannot be said of contemporary Muslimahs. Why not Allah?
This is not to say that we should not answer our calls whenever our phones are ringing or that we should not heed the call of people when we are called upon. Rather, I am saying that we should respond to Allah’s call with even more alacrity than we respond to other calls.
Let us all retrace our steps by going back to the basis of Islam. Looking back into the history of Islam, we notice the zeal with which the companions of the Prophet (SAW) responded to the call of Allah (SWT) and the Messenger. Examples abound in how they abandoned their customs and traditions, alcoholism, girl-child burying, etc., with ease, due to their strong faith in Allah (SWT).
When the verses on prohibition of alcohol were revealed, Muslims turned out their containers of alcohol onto the streets, even those who were drinking at that time stopped, and the one who had put a cup of alcohol to his mouth withdrew it immediately. History has it that on that day, the streets were flowing with alcohol. Such was the spirit of obedience possessed by our predecessors, but such an attitude of “we hear and we obey” seems to be a lost commodity among contemporary Muslims. History is replete with what Muslims gained from staying with Allah I and obeying His call.
Therefore, let us respond to the call of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger with even more enthusiasm than we respond to the call of our friends and family. For in response to the call of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, we are assured of success in this world and the hereafter.
*Not real names.
Read Part 1 HERE
Haleemah Oladamade Ahmad is a young, budding writer who loves to pour her thoughts into her pen. Her observation of the attitude of Muslims to Islam inspired her to write this series. She can be contacted via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.