Recently, I had a dream that a close friend of ours was a holding a three month old baby in his arms. He, himself, is, as generally accepted, past the age of fathering a child.
In the dream, he said to me: “This baby just cries and cries; all the time!”
I replied: “The baby is teaching us how to cry to Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu!”
We have many lessons to learn from our beautiful, beloved babies! …We have had our own children grow up in front of us. We were babies ourselves! There are so many babies whom we know of – we have our own grandchildren and great-grandchildren around us. They are teaching us great, great lessons. …So we should learn from them.
IN THE WOMB
Allah Ta’ala creates the baby in a most beautiful way, moulding and fashioning in the best of forms. It is in the womb of the mother, that a baby is fully formed physically. At approximately four months, the Ruh (soul) enters the baby. After another 5 months or so, the baby is born. The body will now develop over the years until its maturity.
In this same time of the worldly life, the Ruh must be developed and perfected for the Aakhirah (Hereafter). The life of this world is made and fixed for everyone. However, the Aakhirah must be the concern. The Ruh is to be developed to that level where it returns to Allah Ta’ala in a state of complete submission.
Allah Ta’ala says:
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (submission).”
[Surah Al-Imran 3 : 102]
When a baby is born, it cries while everyone in the family is happy and everyone is celebrating. The Aqeeqah is in celebration and in gratitude for the gift of a child. People visit, especially to see the baby, and they bring gifts also. Despite all the joy and excitement, the baby is crying.
…A baby cries for different reasons and perhaps one is for having left the cosy comfort of the womb of its mother and coming into a cold, unfamiliar world. The baby is no longer in the safe haven of the womb: It is now exposed to all kinds of people and all sorts of elements – good and bad.
As adults, we know that this world cannot be described as a safe haven. It is a life where many tests – big and small - come our way.
“[He] who created death and life to test you [as to] which of you is best in deed - and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving.”
[Surah Al-Mulk 67 : 2 ]
“We will definitely test you with some fear, some hunger and some loss in your wealth, in your health and in the fruits.”
[Surah Al-Baqarah 2 : 155]
It is the battleground, where we are constantly waging war against nafs and shaytaan. It is also a big deception with all its glitter and glamour.
“…The life of this world is nothing but an illusion.”
[Surah Al-Hadeed 57 : 20]
…We should shed tears in the fear, love and longing for Allah Ta’ala.
Allah Ta’ala has created us for a purpose and while living in this world, we should not lose focus of the objective.
If we strive in the direction of fulfilling the objective of this life, by believing in Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) and striving in their obedience and in accumulating the provisions for the journey ahead and the currency of the Hereafter, then this life will be a successful life and at the time of death, we will be smiling and happy – because we are going home to Jannah. There will be eagerness and anticipation and great excitement that we are returning home, Insha-Allah.
“Death is the bridge whereby the lover meets the Beloved”
The whole household, around us, can be crying and lamenting and sorrowful – but we will be finally freed from the prison and shackles of Dunya, and Insha-Allah, soon enjoying the comforts promised on obedience and good deeds.
Let it be, that even though we entered this world crying, we leave smiling – we leave happy!
May Allah Ta’ala grant us such a life whereby we can return with the glad-tidings:
“(To the righteous soul will be said) ‘O soul in (complete) rest and satisfaction! Come back to your Lord, well pleased (yourself) and well-pleasing unto Him. Enter you, then, among My Devotees! And enter you My Heaven.”
[Surah Fajr 89 : 27-30]
Babies cry on every need they have. This is their way of communication. When hungry, they cry; when in pain, they cry; etc. Accordingly, the mother responds to the crying of the baby and feeds the baby or tries to alleviate the pain or discomfort that is being experienced by the baby.
Even though we are adults, we still have many needs. The only One who can fulfil all those needs is Allah Ta’ala. So we too should cry to Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu and ask of Him! Allah Ta’ala WILL respond:
“And your Lord says : Call on Me; I will answer your (Du’aa)…”
[Surah Mu`min 40 : 60]
Allah Ta’ala loves the one who cries to Him and asks of Him.
Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Ghani (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said: “When you are able to cry during your Dua, then realise that your Duas have been accepted. Tears are a receipt of the acceptance of Dua.”
In Dua we are taught that if we cannot cry, then we should make the face of a crying person! That will also be sufficient to draw the special attention of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu (Who knows everything and knows that we are not crying for real). However, this too will draw His Rahmah and Kindness!
When babies want attention or they want something, they sometimes throw tantrums, or their crying is just “crocodile tears”. Many times, the mother knows fully well that that behaviour is just a pretence, and she ignores the child - but Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu appreciates even when we pretend, because He loves our crying to Him and He wants to give what we asking! …He does not ignore us!
Babies also cry when they soil themselves ... because they are dirty and uncomfortable. In the love for her baby, the mother removes the soiled nappy or diaper, cleans and washes away all the filth, baths the baby and then dresses the baby in clean clothes.
Similarly, when we soil our hearts and souls with sins - which is by far worse than a baby soiled by urine or faeces, then we should cry in great shame and deep regret and remorse. This regret and Taubah will invite Allah Ta'ala's loving attention and will be a means of our hearts and souls being washed clean, Insha-Allah.
Great lessons are taken from sleep generally and particularly, the deep sweet sleep of babies.
We have learnt that, “Sleep is the sister of death.”
Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) taught us to read before sleeping:
‘In Your name O Allah, I live and die.’
‘In Your name my Lord, I lie down and in Your name I rise, so if You should take my soul then have mercy upon it, and if You should return my soul then protect it in the manner You do so with Your righteous servants.’
And at the time of awakening, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam) taught us the Dua:
‘All praise is for Allah who gave us life after having taken it from us and unto Him is the Resurrection.’
Sleep is a time where the physical body takes full rest without being conscious of the world.
It is said that during sleep, the soul leaves the body, though the Ruh is still present in its inward form, and the person continues to breathe. This is the “minor” death of the person. When the soul returns to the body, the person awakens.
From this phenomenon, we see the great Qudrat of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu. The soul is in the complete control of Allah Ta’ala and a day will arrive when the Ruh will be taken away fully and life in this world will come to an end. There will be no return to this worldly life; rather return is to the Hereafter.
The first lesson is of Allah Ta’ala’s Qudrat : How He takes life and returns it – here as well as in the hereafter.
Another lesson is the reality of Qiyamah : We will be resurrected in the Aakhirah and there will be the establishment of justice in the Court of Allah Ta’ala; together with reward and punishment. This is no dream or imaginary experience!
Allah Ta’ala mentions in Surah Az-Zumar :
“Allah takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”
[Surah Az-Zumar 39 : 42]
In the initial stages after birth, a baby is completely helpless. He is entirely dependent on his mother or those around him to take care of him. His trust is in his mother.
SubhanAllah! As Saalikeen, we should adopt the same helplessness and dependency before Allah Ta’ala. He is the One Who is Rabb (The One Who Nourishes and Sustains) and this is His responsibility. We should learn to trust explicitly, that the One who has brought us in this world, has also arranged for all our needs to be taken cared for – more than any mother could do.
Hadhrat Moulana Jalaluddeen Rumi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had said:
“Is He who is capable of creating a head, not able to don a hat upon it?
Is He who created the stomach, not capable of filling it?
We are living in a world of means so some effort needs to be made in earning one’s sustenance. However, our sustenance is provided by Allah Ta’ala and this sustenance will be obtained with great ease when we are obedient to Allah Ta’ala:
“Enjoin prayer on your family and be constant therein.
We ask thee not to provide sustenance : We provide it for thee.
But the (fruit of) the Hereafter is for Righteousness ”
[Surah TaHa 20 : 132]
In all matters of life, there should be trust in Allah Ta’ala – with the understanding and conviction that Allah Ta’ala makes the best of decisions in regards to His Servants. It is only for us to resign ourselves to and accept the decisions of Allah Ta’ala, believing that there is great Khayr (goodness) and Hikmah (wisdom) in whatever Allah Ta’ala decides.
The baby spends generally 9 months in its mother’s womb. It hears her voice, and senses her emotions. When brought into the world, it is drawn to its mother because there is recognition. As the baby grows, it is then able to distinguish between family members and strangers.
Allah Ta’ala relates the story of the covenant, which was taken from every soul in ‘Aalame Arwah’ (The World of the Souls). After creating all the souls, Allah Ta’ala asked :
‘Am I not your Rabb?
(The One who cherishes and sustains)
Each and every soul responded:
‘Verily You are (our Rabb).’
Allah Ta’ala then said:
‘(This), lest you should say on the Day of Judgment: ‘Of this we were never mindful.’’
[Surah Al-A’raaf 7 : 172]
It has been mentioned, that in this dialogue, there were no veils between the souls and Allah Ta’ala. Each soul saw and recognized Allah Ta’ala. So every person knows that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, because each and every soul testified to this.
Since there was recognition of Allah Ta’ala as Rabb in Aalame Arwah, so now, in this worldly life, that Ma’rifat of Allah Ta’ala should be enhanced by striving in the love and obedience of Allah Ta’ala, to earn the pleasure of Rabbul Aalameen.
Unfortunately, like a child which has been influenced by bad friends and by the violent and immoral television programmes and video games – and then grows up rebelling against the parents, inappreciative of the sacrifices and the love of the parents – so man, influenced by the temptations of this worldly life, the demands of nafs and the false promises of shaytaan, many a time, becomes an open rebel against Allah Ta’ala – rejecting Allah Ta’ala, disobeying Allah Ta’ala and being ungrateful for the infinite favours and bounties of Allah Ta’ala.
Babies become uneasy and restless on being separated from their mothers.This is because there is a very strong bond of love between the mother and child.
Our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) had related to us an incident of a little African baby who got separated from its mother in the Haram Sharief. Different women, from different countries - Egypt Syria, etc. – tried to console the child but to no avail. The child continued crying despite these women trying to pacify her. However, when the mother made her appearance, the child immediately calmed down – finding consolation, comfort and happiness in the arms of her mother.
The lesson we take is that when we are estranged from Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu, then no matter what Dunya offers us – whether the latest fashions, brand names, night clubs, casinos, sports, films, TVs, raves, etc. we do not find any contentment and solace in any of these things. It is only in Allah Ta’ala’s obedience do we find our comfort and safety!
As Saalikeen, we should become uneasy and restless when nafs and shaytaan try to separate us from our Beloved Allah Ta’ala – by tempting us towards sin.
We should not be able to tolerate separation from the One who loves us so much and who has nurtured us in every way, all the time.
If at any time, we become negligent or fall into sin, we should be quick in Rujoo’ilallaah (Returning to Allah Ta’ala). We should flee to Allah Ta’ala (Fafirroo ilallaah).
Generally, babies first learn to crawl. Thereafter, they try to stand on their feet, and in their efforts, they also fall. They take a step and fall, take another step and fall again. However, they persevere. They never give up. Babies are strong-willed, positive and motivated in their nature. SubhanAllah, so much to learn from a baby!
In this is a great lesson for us who are adults: To make our Islaah and correct our Dieni and religious condition, we should also be strong-willed, motivated and positive! As adults, how can we be any less than a baby in such qualities!
In this path to Allah Ta’ala, we crawl, we learn to take steps, and on perseverence, we start walking and then start running …
We should not be hasty in this path and we should not become despondent in this path. We see that a baby is developed over nine months in the mother’s womb. It is not formed overnight. It learns to crawl, walk and run over a period of time.
Similarly for progress and spiritual advancement on this journey to Allah Ta’ala, we should not expect miracles at every turn. Of course, for Allah Ta’ala to do is very easy – and if Allah Ta’ala draws with His Power of Jazb, then the most sinful one becomes the beloved in a moment, on His Will. However, the path to Allah Ta’ala generally requires effort and striving. Stage by stage, a person advances in his relationship with Allah Ta’ala.
So just like the child starts running, jumping and climbing and doing some daring things – which even frighten us adults – we will also reach success and great heights in spirituality and Dien – Insha-Allah, in due time. Despite falling and faltering, just continue. A time will come where the person will be running, Insha-Allah.
Hadhrat Moulana Shah Wasiullaah (Rahmatullahi 'alayh) said:
اس طرح سے طے کی منزلیں ، چلے گرے اٹهے چلے
“We journeyed to Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu in this way:
We walked, fell, got up, walked!”
Babies do not know how to speak. They learn. They are keen leaners. In the initial years, they observe and pay attention to sounds and to those around, who talk to them. As time passes, they begin to imitate certain sounds, and then begin to say one or two words, and before we know it, they are talking; and they are talking so much, that we have to tell them to keep quiet also.
Saalikeen learn the language of love. They learn this from the Suhbat (Company) of the Ahlullah, in the form of Zikrullah – remembering Allah Ta’ala. Slowly but surely, if there is perseverance, this becomes the spiritual nourishment of the Saalik – and a day does not pass, except that it is spent communicating and talking to the Beloved – Allah Ta’ala.
Of course, Salaah is Fardh, five times a day – and this is our greatest access to the Court of Allah Ta’ala, whereby we have the special attention of Allah Ta’ala and whereby we converse with Allah Ta’ala with Hamd (Praise), Zikr, Tilawah, etc. Over and above the five daily Salaah, Saalikeen will seek opportunities for Khalwat (solitude), just to remember their Beloved – Allah Ta’ala.
A Saalik then finds so much of enjoyment that he prefers this conversation and talking to Allah Ta’ala over conversation and talking with people.
When little children want something, they are persistent. They have very good psychology also – and use every way known to them, to get what they want.
They flatter, they beg, they cry, they make promises of being good, etc. and they will not rest until they get what they want. They will follow their mother everywhere; they will go around and around her, pleading – until finally they get what they want. And when they do, then we see how wide and broad their smiles are.
We learn that we also should praise Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu, beg and cry of Him for what we want. Indeed, praising Allah Ta’ala and calling upon Him, by His beautiful names, invites His Grace and acceptance of our requests.
“The Most Beautiful names belong to Allah:
So call on Him by them…”
[Surah Al A’raaf 7 : 180]
We should also keep asking, knowing that Allah Ta’ala will give to us. And the greatest commodity we should be begging and pleading for is His Love! We should be seeking His Love; His Nearness, His Forgiveness, His Mercy and the Great Privilege and Honour of seeing Him in Jannah.
Just as a baby goes around and around its mother, crying and pleading for what it wants, when we are in Makkah Sharief and making Tawaaf, so we should also beg of Allah Ta’ala in this way. We walk around and around Baitullah, seven times, praising Allah Ta’ala, begging and making Dua to Allah Ta’ala. …We are after all babies in the court of Allaah Jalla Jalaaluhu!
Just as the baby smiles and shows its extreme happiness on getting what it wants, we should also show our appreciation to Allaah Jalla Jalaalluhu! We should express our Shukr as much as possible.
WELL TAUGHT AND TRAINED
When a stranger gives something - a sweet, chocolate, etc. - to a baby, it looks up to its father, mother (abbaa/ammaa), with a questioning look : Should I take it?
On one occasion, a little child was brought to our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhammad Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh). Hadhrat offered the child a sweet. However, the child did not accept. He first turned and looked at his father, waiting for permission. The father said: “Take the sweet.” - so the little boy took it.
Hadhrat then said: “What a beautiful lesson! These little children are trained not to accept anything from strangers. This is precisely how a Believer should be responding when there are any temptations. There are many coloured ‘sweets’ (ghair mahareem) walking on the streets, in the bazaars, colleges, etc. The nafs says: “Take a lustful glance.” …The one who knows Allah Ta’ala and understands that he will be accountable to Allah Ta’ala, turns to his ‘Rabba’ (Allah Ta’ala) and asks: “Must I accept this ‘sweet’ or not?”
The child looks up to ‘Abba’ but the Believer looks up to his ‘Rabba’. Must I do this or not? Must I take this or not?
When we are confronted with any temptation, then we first look at the Command of Allah Ta’ala and we give precedence to His Command and His Pleasure over our nafs.
SubhanAllah! Children are amazing! They become teachers for Saalikeen. They teach us how to connect with Allah Ta’ala on different levels, until our attachment to Allah Ta’ala supersedes our attachment to everyone else – even one’s mother.
May Allah Ta’ala grant us the Taufeeq of taking lesson and making ‘Aml.
by Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb (Daamat Barakaatuhum)